Work and money - Young people

Young people have rights when it comes to working and money. They may be different to the rights held by adults.

On this webpage there is information about opening a bank account, getting social security payments, restrictions on work and where you can find out more about your rights at work, your privacy rights online and bout discrimination.

When can you open a bank or credit union account?

You can open a bank or credit union account at any age. Ask the bank or credit union what kind of ID they will need. You need more than one form of identification, such as your birth certificate and photo ID. 

If you have a tax file number, you should tell the bank or credit union, otherwise any interest you earn may be taxed at a high rate.

When can you get social security payments?

You may be eligible for payments such as Youth Allowance for job seekers or ABSTUDY if you are a young person who is studying, undertaking training or an Australian Apprenticeship, looking for work, or is sick.

You can find details about the different payments and find out if you are eligible for them on the Services Australia website.

When can you work and what are your rights?

You can only work in some jobs, with restricted hours, before you turn 15 years of age. There are also rules about doing unpaid work (including unpaid trials, student placements, work experience and internships). More information is available from:

If you are being bullied at work, raise it with your contact or grievance officer, safety and health representative, human resources officer, or union representative (if you are in a union). There may be formal procedures you need to follow.

Some types of bullying at work, for example, assaults or threats to assault, may be a police matter. In this case you can make a complaint to the police. Other bullying behaviours may also be unlawful.

What are your privacy rights online or at work?

Your rights are different depending on the situation.

If you have queries about your privacy rights in relation to social networking sites (such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat), your mobile phone, ID scanning at work, online banking, or in other areas, you may find the following information helpful:

What if you think you have been discriminated against?

Discrimination can happen in two ways:

  • Direct - where someone treats you less favourably than they would treat anyone else under the same or similar circumstances.
  • Indirect - where a law, policy or practice seems to apply to everyone equally, but which affects a large number of people of a particular race, sex or other group because they cannot comply with it. An example of indirect discrimination may be to have a requirement for a minimum number of years’ experience for a particular job. This may be indirectly discriminatory against a young person.

There are laws to protect employees and prospective employees from job-related discrimination. To find out more on where you can get help, go to our webpage on discrimination. To find out about discrimination against LGBTIQA+ people in education or employment, download the factsheet LGBTIQA+ Discrimination.

When can you get a mobile phone?

You can get a pre-paid phone at any age.

Generally, you can’t be held to a contract you sign when you are under 18 unless it relates to the essentials of life (such as food, housing, or other essentials). You have to be 18 to sign a post-paid mobile phone contract. Your parents may sign the contract for you. If they do, they have to pay if you can't.

For information and tips on mobile phones (including on choosing a mobile phone, and deciding on a pre-paid plan or a contract), go to the MoneySmart website or the pamphlet from Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (Consumer Protection) Mobile phones 10 things shoppers should know.


Reviewed: 28 November 2023







The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.