Rights and responsibilities at work
There are specific legal conditions that apply to any job.
These usually fall into two categories (1) rights or conditions that you are entitled to receive and responsibilities or (2) conditions that you are obligated to uphold. Often these overlap.
Everyone deserves fair work arrangements and everyone contributes to a healthy workplace.
Key rights and responsibilities
The right to receive workplace adjustments for your disability
If you choose to disclose your disability in the workplace, you’re legally entitled to receive reasonable adjustments that allow you to do your job safely and effectively.
The responsibility to understand the terms and conditions of your job
When starting a new job, you have a responsibility to make sure you understand your contract. This also ensures that the employer is honouring your right to receive a fair salary and entitlements.
If you don’t understand your contract, talk to your supervisor or another appropriate person, like a Human Resources Manager, before you sign it.
The right to be safe at work
Some jobs have more hazards than others. For example, there are fewer physical hazards in an office than in a kitchen, where you work with sharp knives and hot oil.
However, everyone has a right to be safe at work, including volunteers, work experience students, and customers. Your employer is responsible for providing the equipment and training necessary for you to work safely. Sometimes, this may involve wearing special gear, such as hardhats and high visibility clothing.
You also have a responsibility to make sure you understand how to do your job safely and to abide by the Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) requirements in your workplace.
The right to be free from bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace
Unfortunately, bullying can happen at work. It’s your right to be able to do your job in a safe environment. It’s also your responsibility to report misconduct to an appropriate person. For more information about this sort of behaviour, refer to our Mistreatment in the workplace article.
The Australian Government’s Human Rights Commission has a resource on workplace bullying, harassment, and discrimination.
The Fair Work Commission offers an online course to help you navigate difficult conversations in the workplace. If you feel like your rights are not being respected, it may be worth using this resource to prepare for a discussion with your supervisor.