It’s summer, your business is busy, and you could do with an extra set of hands or two. You decide to hire a junior employee to help out, as a casual employee and they enthusiastically start work. Because you’re a responsible employer, you realise there’s probably some additional steps you should take to manage your new junior employee, but where do you start?

  1. As with any new employee, you should ensure that your junior staff member is inducted to your workplace and trained in how to safely perform the tasks. Workplace Health & Safety Queensland report that around 4400 young people were seriously injured at work last year. As a vulnerable working group, employers should give young employees the best start to their working lives.
  2. Young workers should also be appropriately supervised. Young employees generally need much more supervision than adults and should not be left to work on their own. In their eagerness to work quickly and effectively, they can sometimes try to skip important parts of a process in order to try and impress their new employer, which can result in injury.
  3. Make sure their working hours comply with the Child Employment Act and Regulations in Queensland (other requirements may also apply in other States) and that you have the appropriate paperwork and permissions for school-aged children. You can learn more about this in our Junior Working Hours blog post.
  4. Be careful if you require an unpaid trial before your new employee starts work. Although it’s a common practice for young employees, the requirements from Fair Work are quite strict. The Fair Work Ombudsman website states:

“A brief work trial can be legally unpaid if it is necessary to evaluate your suitability for the job, and:

  • it involves no more than a demonstration of your skills, where they are relevant to a vacant position
  • it is only for as long as needed to demonstrate the skills required for the job. This will be dependent on the nature and complexity of the work, but could range from an hour to one shift
  • you are under direct supervision of the potential employer (or other appropriate individual) for the entire trial.”
  1. Create an environment where their first job is one they’ll remember for all the right reasons! A great company culture, free from bullying or harassment, with an opportunity to learn new and useful skills will make a lasting impression.

Workplace Central provides workforce management solutions for employers across Australia. We’ve been in the employment space for over 25 years, so we’ve seen a lot! Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help you with your staffing needs.


Workplace Health & Safety Queensland – Look out for young workers starting their first jobs in the New Year

Fair Work Ombudsman – Young Workers Best Practice Guide