Legislative and regulatory requirements

Apart from meeting the requirements of our own policies and procedures, all WIL activities must meet the requirements in the Fair Work Act.

The Fair Work Act 2009 recognises formal work experience arrangements that are a mandatory part of an education or training course. These arrangements are referred to as vocational placements, and are defined as being:

  • undertaken as a requirement of an Australian based educational or training course
  • authorised under a law or an administrative arrangement of the Commonwealth, a State or Territory
  • undertaken with an employer for which a person is not entitled to be paid any remuneration

If all of these criteria are met, the person will not be covered by the Fair Work Act and is therefore not entitled to the minimum wage and other entitlements provided in the National Employment Standards and modern awards. See the Students and Work Legal Information Paper [PDF, 139.90 KB, 3 pages] from the Legal Services group and the Internships, Vocational Placements and Unpaid Work fact sheet.

Chapter 5, ‘Work Experience in Industry’, in the Higher Education Support Act 2003 - Administration Guidelines 2012, outlines requirements that higher education providers must meet when providing placement experiences within programs.

Work is not work experience in industry if all the following are performed by staff of the higher education provider or by persons engaged by the higher education provider:

(a) ongoing and regular input and contact with the student; and

(b) oversight and direction of work occurring during its performance; and

(c) definition and management of the implementation of educational content and objectives of the unit; and

(d) definition and management of assessment of student learning and performance during the student placement; and

(e) definition and management of the standard of learning and performance to be achieved by the student during the student placement