The Fair Work Ombudsman has recently released an article on unpaid work trials to assist employers in understanding when they should or should not be paying a person for labour prior to offering them a job.
Employers may ask that the person undertake a ‘work trial’ to demonstrate they can perform the tasks required of a job. A work trial is supervised, set within a reasonable time period and be deemed necessary to understand a person’s ability to perform the tasks required.
Employers who use unpaid work trials as a means of seeking a form of ‘employment arrangement’ to engage people in unpaid work is against the law. Work trials where a person is unsupervised, works beyond reasonable hours or time period to assess their ability or skills to do the job or where it is not necessary to perform a work trial in order to do the job is unlawful.
If an employer needs further time to assess a person for a vacant position, they may request that the person enter an employment arrangement such as a probationary period or casual and are paid appropriately for the hours worked.
For further information on unpaid work trials read more here.
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