Worker rights and responsibilities

As a worker in Australia you have rights.

If you are a temporary working visa holder, a permanent resident, or an Australian citizen, you are covered by work health and safety laws. These laws apply to every workplace.

Your basic rights include:

  • the right to be shown how to work safely
  • the right to appropriate safety equipment
  • the right to speak up about work conditions
  • the right to say no to unsafe work
  • the right to be consulted about safety in the workplace
  • the right to workers compensation
  • the right to a fair and just workplace
  • the right to fair pay and conditions.

You also have specific health and safety obligations and responsibilities including:

  • taking reasonable care of yourself
  • not doing anything that would affect the health and safety of others at work
  • following any reasonable health and safety instructions from your employer

It is important that you:

  • ask if you are not sure how to safely perform the work
  • follow instructions and work safely
  • report unsafe and unhealthy situations and injuries to your immediate supervisor.

Remember, health and safety representatives or your supervisor can take your health and safety issues to your employer on your behalf.

If you work through a group training organisation or labour hire agency, you can also report any work health and safety concerns to them.

You will find detailed information on your rights in our Legal obligations section.

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