Under-15 year olds forced to sign AWAs

October 21, 2006

According to an October 19 media release from the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), workers under the age of 15 are now signing Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs — individual work contracts) under the Howard government's Work Choices legislation, which came into effect at the end of March.

"According to previously unreleased official government figures, 598 AWA individual contracts were signed by children under the age of 15 from July last year until May 2006, including many under the new IR laws", the ACTU media release stated.

"Another 7779 individual contracts were signed by children aged between 15 and 18 years old and a further 13,269 individual contracts were signed by young workers aged 18 to 21 over the same period."

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