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Half of all ACT young workers have experienced unsafe workplaces, 70 percent have been harassed

UnionsACT research into the experiences of workers aged between 15 to 25 shows that half of all young workers have worked in unsafe workplaces and 70 percent of all young workers have experienced bullying and harassment.

Download the report here.

The research found that:

  • Half of young people aged 15 to 25 had been placed in working conditions that were unsafe.
  • Seventy percent of young workers had experienced bullying or harassment while at work.
  • Awareness of workplace safety rights, policies and laws was low.
  • Young women reported high levels of experiencing sexual harassment while at work.
  • Young workers reported fears and pressure from employers to not report unsafe practices.

Working in unsafe workplaces was also common for young workers aged under 18 (children), despite additional ACT laws designed to protect child employees. 60 percent of workers aged under 18 had experienced bullying or harassment.

Young workers are injured up to twice the rate as the rest of the workforce. The ACT has seen a number of serious workplace injuries of children and young people in the last twelve months, including a school experience student and an apprentice.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT:

“From their very first job, thousands of young workers are facing unsafe working conditions, bullying and sexual harassment.

“Our research shows that many young peoples’ first experience as a worker is of serious risks, injuries, threats and intimidation, and unlawful behaviour by employers.

“Young workers are entering the workplace without knowledge of their rights to safe work.

“It is unacceptable for employers of young people to put them in unsafe conditions, or to break workplace safety laws.

“It is even more unacceptable that some employers treat young workers as easy targets for exploitation.”

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