This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Job applications

Information about job seeking, applying for work, preparing for and going to an interview.

If someone is interested in an advertised job they should find out as much as possible about the kind of work involved and the company that is offering the work. Employment ads should include the name of the company, the name of a contact person, the address and information about salary or payment.

It is a good idea to contact the advertiser and ask for a job description.

Beware of scams

Some employment offers, particularly those offering 'guaranteed employment', 'working from home' or 'business opportunity' ads have hidden traps or costs. They may include up-front costs for training or set up costs. They may even involve pyramid selling which is specifically prohibited under the new Australian consumer law.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) site has information about some common employment scams (see link below).

The Commonwealth consumer protection law prohibits a person or an organisation from any conduct that may mislead a job seeker. They must not mislead a person about:

  • the availability
  • nature
  • terms or conditions or any other matter relating to employment.

The offence is one of strict liability and so it is not a defence that the organisation did not intend to mislead the job seeker.

Penalty

The maximum penalty for a body corporate is $1,100,000 or $220,000 for an individual.

More information

Legislation

Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)

  • s. 37—misleading representations about business activities
  • ss. 43-46—prohibits pyramid schemes

See Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth)—Schedule 2—The Australian Consumer Law(opens in a new window).

Reference

JobWatch

The specialist community legal centre site, JobWatch has information for job seekers.

See 'Misleading employment advertising (information sheet)' in JobWatch—Publications(opens in a new window).

See also JobWatch—Job hunting traps(opens in a new window).

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

This site discusses some of the more common employment scams and explains how job seekers can protect themselves.

See ACCC—Scam watch—Job and employment scams.

Updated