Teenagers don't get paid full minimum wages until they are 21. That is not fair.
This has been going on for quite a while now and it seems no-one has acted about it.
When teens get employed, they are excited and are ready to get their pay check. They compare it to their older siblings or a relative and they are taken aback.
Why do I get half or less of my big sister's wages? Have I not been doing my job well enough?
Have I stuffed up? Will I get sacked?
This must be stopped as it is killing teens' self-esteem and they may need that money more than a 21-year-old.
We must do something and here is why.
During the COVID-19 crisis, teens' parents may not be able to work due to illness, home school or maybe their pay is just not enough to keep the family going.
Imagine a family of a single parent and three kids. One teen and two primary schoolers. The bills will start piling up and the parent will probably have to work more shifts and then the poor children won't have anyone to help them.
The parent (let's say she is a 37-year-old single mum) will probably have to send the teenager out to work. This teenager (let's say he is a 15-year-old boy) will have to go out and get a job. This boy may hate his job, must work for hours yet still not get full wages. This is heart-breaking and shameful.
To think this boy is working hard to support his family yet it still may not be enough is just aggravating.
We teens are humans too and equals.
Say a teen has moved out of their house. They are going well but then are moved to smaller shifts. They can no longer pay his bills and must move back in with their parents, even if the parents might live an unhealthy lifestyle.
They must wait till their 21st birthday to get paid full wages and they are only eighteen! This is far too long but until paid full wages there is nothing they can do. They might get a new job, but it still may not be enough. They must live with their tormenting parents for another three years.
The thrill of turning eighteen should be exciting and a new experience. Out of all the amazing things, there is one you really want. And that is proper wages. But you still don't get it then.
We teens also need to support money for ourselves. Some families believe you need to show independence or maybe aren't as wealthy as others. Those children may need to provide their own money for university, a car or a house when they move out.
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Do you know the national minimum wage is $19.84 an hour, according to government department Fair Work, and teenagers only get a fraction of this amount, depending on the industry they work in.
That isn't okay and it needs to be stopped if we want our children to be the future of Australia.
So, in short, teens need full minimum wages to support their families, themselves and their futures. If we don't do something about it, this issue will keep on destroying society.
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