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Is it work experience, or exploitation?



Unpaid work placements and internships can serve as a legitimate avenue for ambitious young individuals to gain a foothold in their desired fields.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that they can also exploit economically vulnerable young workers. Wage theft is illegal and can result in severe penalties for employers who engage in such practices.

To distinguish between legitimate and exploitative unpaid work placements, both employers and workers need to be well-informed.

Caution must be exercised by both parties when offering or accepting unpaid work placements.

Employment guidelines

The Fair Work Act establishes minimum wages, conditions, and awards for different types of employment. The central question regarding unpaid work placements revolves around whether the tasks assigned to the worker qualify as “employment.” This determination depends on two sub-issues:

1. Intentions of the parties: Determining intentions can be challenging as they are often mixed and not fully expressed. What matters is the nature of the relationship, rather than how either party labels it.

The factors

– Purpose of the arrangement: If the primary focus is on productive work rather than meaningful learning, training, and skill development, it is likely an employment relationship.
– Duration of the arrangement: Longer durations increase the likelihood of an employment relationship.
– Nature of the work: If the tasks performed are typically done by paid employees and are necessary for the business or organization, the arrangement should likely be considered paid employment.
– Role of learning: If the worker’s role is primarily observational and does not primarily benefit the organization, it is less likely to be seen as an employment relationship.
– Benefit distribution: A legitimate unpaid work placement should primarily benefit the intern or trainee. If the business derives significant economic benefit from the work, an employment relationship is more likely.

The difference

In practice, illustrating the difference is often easier than providing a precise definition. For instance, if someone voluntarily works for a charitable organization without any expectation of payment, it is unlikely to violate the Fair Work Act.

If an unpaid job placement is part of an educational or vocational training course and aims to equip students with essential skills for transitioning from study to work, it is likely to meet the requirements of the Fair Work Act. Similarly, if an internship or training period, not connected to a formal educational program, is brief and involves extensive mentoring and training, it may also qualify.

On the other hand, if an applicant is interviewed for a paid job and then asked to undergo an unpaid “work trial” for an indefinite period to assess suitability, it would likely contravene the Fair Work Act. An unpaid internship that lacks adequate training and instruction presents similar issues.

Exercise caution

If you have been offered an unpaid work placement with hopes of it leading to a paid job, be extremely cautious. Many workers are enticed into such arrangements under false promises, appealing to their goodwill and willingness to work.

Likewise, if you are an employer considering offering unpaid work placements, be aware that many of these arrangements may not meet the requirements outlined in the Fair Work Act. The potential penalties far outweigh any short-term cost-saving benefits. Even well-intentioned organizations seeking to provide opportunities for underserved individuals can find themselves in trouble if they operate outside the legal guidelines.

More information here.

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McDonald’s plans massive expansion with 9,000 new burger joints by 2027



Fast-food giant McDonald’s has unveiled an ambitious plan to open nearly 9,000 new burger joints across the globe by 2027.

The move comes as part of the company’s aggressive growth strategy to maintain its dominance in the competitive fast-food industry.

McDonald’s, known for its iconic golden arches, currently operates over 38,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

With this expansion, the company aims to tap into emerging markets while also strengthening its presence in existing ones. The plan includes opening new outlets in urban centres, shopping malls, and even smaller towns, catering to a diverse range of customers.

The expansion drive is expected to create thousands of jobs, from front-line crew members to management positions, offering economic opportunities in various communities.

Furthermore, McDonald’s will continue to focus on sustainability, with commitments to reduce its environmental footprint through eco-friendly practices and packaging.

As the fast-food giant prepares to embark on this ambitious journey, the focus keyword for Google SEO is “McDonald’s expansion.”

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Citigroup’s enormous billion dollar restructuring cost revealed



Citigroup, one of the world’s largest financial institutions, is undergoing a significant restructuring effort that comes with a hefty price tag of $1 billion.

However, this massive overhaul is now anticipated to extend beyond the current quarter and will likely stretch into the next.

The restructuring plan, which was initially expected to conclude this quarter, involves a comprehensive review of Citigroup’s operations, aiming to streamline its business processes and enhance efficiency. The bank has been facing mounting pressure to adapt to changing market conditions and technological advancements.

The delay in completing the restructuring has raised concerns among investors, as the prolonged uncertainty can impact the bank’s financial performance. Citigroup’s leadership remains committed to the plan, emphasising the importance of getting it right rather than rushing through the process.

Despite the cost and delay, Citigroup remains optimistic about the long-term benefits of the restructuring, which include improved profitability and competitiveness in the financial sector.

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British American Tobacco issues warning on future of U.S. brands



British American Tobacco (BAT) has raised concerns about the long-term viability of its US-based cigarette brands, marking a significant shift in its outlook on the American market.

The company is now planning a massive $31.5 billion writedown, reflecting its dim view of the future prospects for these brands.

BAT, one of the world’s leading tobacco companies, has traditionally maintained a strong presence in the US market through brands like Newport and Camel. However, changing consumer preferences, stricter regulations, and the rise of alternative tobacco products like e-cigarettes have put pressure on the traditional cigarette industry.

The company’s decision to write down the value of its US brands highlights the challenges it faces in a market that is evolving rapidly. BAT is expected to focus more on the development and marketing of reduced-risk products and alternative nicotine delivery systems.

This strategic shift may have significant implications for BAT’s future operations and the broader tobacco industry. It remains to be seen how the company will navigate this changing landscape and whether it can adapt to the shifting preferences of consumers.

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