Things you didn't know weren't legal?

Hi everybody!

All these forum topics have got me thinking about a bunch of things, and I realised that at my last call centre job I worked a double shift (8 hours) and wasn't allowed a break, which isn't legal in Australia I believe. I didn't know that and was wondering if people have done anything to you that you didn't know wasn't legal.

I.e just saw an ad on Gumtree saying that if you want to job you have to go through an unpaid trial before you can work there. Which isn't legal! And paying $12/hour to someone who's 21 is under minimum pay I'm pretty sure.

Anyway, hope this topic might teach me (and maybe even you!) a few things :)

Happy monday!


    • You can show sex or genitals, but not at the same time…

      • +13

        Mr President, prolly not a gd idea to take advice from this guy

        • This President comes and goes.

  • +4

    In some local councils in wa, it is unlawful to put out a bin if the lid is not fully closed. I got a letter saying they had observed my bin twice with a partially open lid and if I did it again, they'd slap me with a $200 littering fine. How can they prove someone else didn't come along and put more rubbish on my bin after I put it on the verge?

    • whaaat, I didn't know that! But what about if the collecters come and tip it out and the lid is left open?!

  • +4

    I learned to drive in the ACT where you are allowed to do U turns at traffic lights. So when I moved back to NSW I always did it, assuming it was legal.

    After a few years later I noticed that I would sometimes hear cars honking their horns when I did it (in a "you're doing something wrong" kind of way). So I looked up the law on Google and my jaw dropped. Oops!

    • +3

      ACT where you are allowed to do U turns at traffic lights

      Making a U–turn at an intersection with traffic lights
      A driver must not make a U–turn at
      an intersection with traffic lights unless
      there is a U–turn permitted sign at the

      • Oh yeah I forgot about the U-turn signs. Most of the traffic lights in the ACT had them from memory so I never paid much attention. Whereas none of the traffic lights in NSW have them, which was where I went wrong, haha.

    • +3

      Not really on the same topic, but I sneakily (well, not on purpose) managed to skip a driving test to get onto my full drivers licence because I'd moved from NSW to ACT then back to NSW lol.

      Green Provisionals don't exist in ACT (at least they didn't when I moved there), and I was on my green P's from living in NSW. I still had a while to go on them before I could do my full licence test in NSW. By this time, I'd lived in ACT for several months and had to change to an ACT licence. So I did…

      I was put straight onto a full licence without the extra test needed in NSW, simply because my green P's aren't recognised as such in ACT. Score! lol IIRC it was free, too.. just a matter of changing licence.. where as upgrading to a full licence in NSW involves another fee I think (for doing the test). I could be wrong there, though.

      Either way, I was happy. Was also surprised to learn that P platers can drive turbo cars in ACT too. They don't have the same restrictions as NSW P platers do, anyway…. which isn't necessarily a great thing, but NSW drivers tend to be freaking crazy compared to ACT drivers, so maybe that explains the need for different laws lol.

      • I have heard people who almost run out of points on their ACT licence switch over to NSW using an address over the border (e.g. Queanbeyan) so they can get a new licence with the standard number of points.

      • Yeah, I skipped green P's altogether when I went from ACT P's onto a NSW licence.

        I'm not sure if it's still the law, but when I was on my ACT P's I wasn't restricted to 90km/h in NSW either, which was awesome. I got pulled over by highway patrol a couple of times for going 120km/h and my ACT licence got me off the hook, haha.

      • I should just move to the ACT. I don't like this 12 months of L's 6months of Red P's and 18 Months of green P's stuff.

    • +2

      in victoria, you can do u-turn at any intersections unless there are signs showing "no u-turn"

  • +1

    Great topic. Was happy when Maya Masala in Perth got busted for visa scam. Hope many other get busted in the future because I heard many are on the same boat. These bastards should be hung to take advantage of desperate people and becoming rich in the process.

    • +1

      I didn't know this! Do you have a link to the article?

  • Yeah re op's post on their call centre job u should have a break every 5 hrs

    • +1

      I'm pretty sure you're only required to have a 30min break after every 5 and half hours. Although I've seen that it can include terms like "if reasonable" as in if it's really busy at that 5hr 30mins mark you may have to wait an extra 30mins or hour till it's quiet again.

  • i work at a starbucks that i won't name, and i get 13 an hour and am 19 years of age. Is that legal?

    • +2

      Casual, part time or full time?

      When I was 20 and working at a well known national liquor store as a casual, I was on $15 (and some change) per hour. Wasn't long before I was put on permanent part-time and the pay went up a few bucks, but yeah.. I think being under 21 you're still considered a 'junior' in terms of pay rates.

      There are meant to be online calculators.. have a play around with this and see if you get any clearer answers:

    • +1

      Maybe your still on probation?

      Working part time at woolies at 18 only gets you 13.50 an hour. So it's probably legal.

  • work hours fluctuate, so I'm guessing it's leaning towards casual? i rarely do more than 20 hours per week.

    • +1

      You should've been given a contract when they hired you. If they haven't, you should ask for one with those details so they don't screw you around.

    • +1

      do you get paid annual leave and sick leave? If not, then casual. If yes, then would be permanent part-time.

      As far as I know, casual rates per hour, are more than permanent rates, as permanent means that you have sick and annual leave…

      • No mate don't get none of that, which is why it's so confusing.

    • Don't casual employees get a 25% loading? because they don't get benefits like sick leave etc

      • Yes. If he isn't on a contract with a specific number of hours per week he should be classed as a casual unless we are missing something so he should be getting casual loading. At 19 I would expect around $16 an hour for a casual or so. I think I was on around $17 per hour at Kmart

  • There is a thing about it being illegal however sometimes they don't enforce it.

    Like for example, some restaurants and cafes have seats outside, sitting around one of those tables it is against the law to smoke there. Same laws apply inside and outside the restaurant.

    However I see people smoke there all the time and even if a police officer walks by they don't bother booking them.

  • -1

    ..and those on working holiday visas who bugger off home claim back 12% from superannuation fund…..while the rest of us have to wait till 70 years of age to get hold of it..whatever it may be worth then, if anything after GFC's fees and charges.

    "Hey, let's take a gap year in the lucky country, and leave with a 12% cheque of whatever we earned and spend it in cheap asia on the way home.."

  • +2

    A lot of people don't realise offensive language in public areas (depending on which state you are in) is against the law.

  • +1

    I didn't know car sex was illegal. Was a bit embarrassing and funny having the cops pull up next to your car while you're humping away.

  • And paying $12/hour to someone who's 21 is under minimum pay I'm pretty sure.

    Unsure of specifics of under 21, but over if you're not getting over $20/hour for a casual job when you are older than 21 and shifts at a minimum of 3 hours long, then you can call fair work Australia. It's something like $20.40 - you can lok it up on the fair work website.

    I found this out after I had to go through an unofficial legal matter with an employer not paying me for a trial shift. Got the money in the end. I am an Ozbargainer after all!

  • +1

    I didn't realise it was illegal to beg!

    • +1

      Really!? I didn't know that either!

  • I just heard from my mom that it's illegal for smart cars to go more than 80km/hour so they're not allowed on freeways/highways? Not sure if it's true or not though, can someone verify?

    • Why would that be illegal?

    • You're not talking about the Smart Car are you? SMART AUSTRALIA
      But they're so cute!!
      3500 Smart cars have been sold in Australia over the past 12 years -

      Why would it be illegal? Those cars are from Europe and can do over 100kmh (sure its take a long time to get there).
      What about during peak hour, are they allowed then?
      So technically they're allowed on the M5 where they're doing roadworks? Cause that's an 80k zone.

      You should ask your mother for verification about the information, her sources, her research, her email conversations to Smart Australia, NRMA and the RMS.

      • Yes, that little cutie. I know, but she spoke to her friend who has a smart car and was told by a police officer that she couldn't take it onthe highways/freeway. She said that it was a little scary because the car felt like it was giong to flip driving at 100km/hour, I've never been in one, so I can't say. But apparently it's dangerous because the car can't really withstand the force when it's going fast.

        • +1

          Sounds like it wouldn't be legal to sell it in Australia to begin with then…
          This seems slightly flawed.

        • +1


          Fun fact:

          Pissed poms in Amsterdam are known to get together in groups to throw smart cars in the canals.

        • +1

          This is a great bullshit story. Car is not illegal to drive on freeways, car will not flip at 100kmh or feel like it in any way. Car can withstand the forces fine. Your 'friend' is full of shit.

        • @thorton82: Not my friend, my mom's. But I thank you for the clarification :)

        • +1

          @pyro love bird: Your mum is American?

        • -1

          @thorton82: ? no why?

        • +3

          @pyro love bird:

          Mom = American
          Mum = Australian/ British English

        • +1

          @JLove: ah, right, I'm so used to typing "mom" that I don't realise it, my bad.

        • @pyro love bird:

          Yer mam, pet.

  • Defacing currency - coins or banknotes - is illegal in most countries and probably in Australia as well. In the era of silver and gold coins, clipping or shaving off some of the metal was punishable with death.

  • +1

    Employment scams are rife. Where I live (Bacchus Marsh) farm labourers get paid well under $10 per hour and are kept well away from locals who might ask awkward questions.

    • Can you explain that a little further? Genuinely interested in that. Sounds really tough.

  • +1

    Here's something I didn't know. This happened to a friend of mine in VIC just last week.

    She was fined $150 by a patrol car on the spot for staying in the right lane for too long(instead of keeping left). I was always under the assumption the 'keep left unless overtaking' is more of a courtesy thing, than a rule, seeing how many drivers I see hog the right lane on a daily basis.

    • +2

      The VIC rule is: Where the speed limit is 80kph or less you can use your discretion about staying in the right lane. Where the speed limit is higher (freeways, etc.) you are REQUIRED to keep in the left lane unless overtaking.
      So you are partly right.
      What was the speed limit where you were fined? If 80kph or less, contest the fine.

      • +1

        She mentioned it was a highway, so I'm quite sure it's 80 and above. As Flying Ace below said, I'm just surprised they actually enforce this.

    • +2

      Sucks for your friend, but I'm surprised to see a police enforce this! It's one of my pet hates when driving.

    • I didn't know this was a thing, I'll keep that in mind next time I'm in Vic

      • +2

        Or any where in Australia

        • I received a bs infringement nite for tbis in WA about 15 years ago on Stirling hwy in Redlands. Limit was60. My understanding is that this law was changed in WA.

          I don't like driving in the left lane when there are no other cars around. I am worried that running over drains and the like could damage my car. When I was in my first year of driving,I hit a pothole and it wreaked my axle. So if a road is deserted like SH was that night, my preference is always for the lane away from the curb.

        • +1

          I wish more people kept left unless overtaking. Everywhere. On any road (not just 80 or above).

          Grinds my gears when all lanes are hogged by people doing under the limit, and I'm in a rush. Then again, I tend to speed in areas I'm familiar with (only around 5k's over, but speeding is speeding) so I get cranky even when someone sits on the outside lane doing the limit lol. I realise that's my problem, not the lane hogger's problem - they're following the rules.

          But still. Grrr.

        • +1

          @waterlogged turnip:
          This morning at silverwater road, 3 lanes 3 trucks starting at 10km/hr on every single traffic lights! 5 min drive takes me 15 min with no traffic in front of them!

  • Here's a new one: its illegal to refuse cash (banknotes) for payment up to any amount - i.e. banknotes are legal tender for any amount. Organisations/businesses which refuse cash are technically breaking the law. Coins are only legal tender up to $4 - so you cannot do what an acquaintance of mine did years ago; you cannot pay the $200 traffic fine in 5c coins……….

    • LOL did he really? I didn't know you could go into the station and say "I'm here to pay my fine takes out bags of 5c coins

      I get annoyed when customers try and pay me $20 in silver coins, can't imagine how annoyed they would've been, haha.

      Edit: Why and where are people not accepting cash!? I've only ever seen places that only accept cash

      • Many estate agents will not accept cash, seemingly because they don't want the risk of having money on the premises. Some travel agents are the same.
        The full story with the fine: My acquaintance who lives in Victoria was fined in South Australia, He got $200 in 5c coins from several banks and posted the fine payment to the State Revenue office in South Australia…….
        So, technically you can refuse payment in coins if more than $4, but in the interest of good PR you probably wouldn't say anything?

        • Im guessing your friend was the one who filmed his experience and uploaded it to youtube?

        • LOL

        • Can you throw the book at real estate agents who refuse to take your cash?

        • If you press it, they will accept it. I've had a few in the past who say that but when presented with the cash for your rent, they have to accept it in the end or explain to the landlord why he hasn't received rent.

          Side note, I paid the deposit on my house in cash. They were really pissed about it, but that also may have been because they had to count it…

  • +2

    Bare feet in food establishments.
    OH&S (standing on glass I expect)

    • McDonalds on Sydney's Bondi Beach… people walking in wearing wet, sand covered bathing suits, no shoes, just right off the beach as they were.

      So gross.

  • Another one: If you own a house with a granny flat, you cannot rent out the house and flat separately (in VIC)……..

    • Wow. I had no idea! That's a bit weird, so what happens if you have several people renting it out as a shared house? I guess that's okay right?

      • +2

        Different councils and shires have different rulesanout these things. To get the full story about legalities, ask your local council; you will be gobsmacked by the rules and regulations they have.
        But, on the other hand, what they don't know…………


    Offence to carry out unauthorised rain-making operations
    Any person who carries out any rain-making operations in Victoria which are not authorized under this Act shall be guilty of an offence.

    Penalty: $1000 or imprisonment for twelve months.

  • And in WA at least, changing your shower head is illegal.
    Which was a bit awkward for the gov't when they ran a free exchange program for water-saving shower heads.
    "Here is a free shower head. Oh but by the way, we caved in to the lobbyists so you need to pay $150 to a plumber to swap it".

    Actually, what they really said was "Here is what you plumber will do: … " and gave detailed instructions :-)

  • Also in WA, you can not have a insinkerator/ in sink garbage disposal grinder, in a residential premises.

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