Legal and compliance

WIL Agreements and WIL Contracts
Legal Responsibilities
Insurance
Occupational Health and Safety
Intellectual Property

WIL Agreements and WIL Contracts

Why do I have to sign a contract when taking on a student for a WIL placement?

Most tertiary institutions will require host organisations to sign a WIL Agreement or Contract prior to a student undertaking a WIL activity.  WIL Agreements will usually 

  • identify the parties covered by the agreement; 
  • if applicable, define the tasks to be undertaken by the student and the goals and expected outcomes of the WIL activity; and 
  • outline the rights and responsibilities of all parties. 

WIL Agreements are usually signed by the host organisation, the student and the tertiary institution, and may also include information relating to insurance, occupational health and safety and intellectual property.   

For further information please contact the individual tertiary institution that can provide advice on its policy and procedures.  

What are my legal responsibilities when taking on a student for a WIL placement?  

The Fair Work Australia Act 2009 allows for unpaid vocational placements that are:

  1. undertaken with an employer for which a person is not entitled to be paid any remuneration; and
  2. undertaken as a requirement of an education or training course; and
  3. authorised under a law or an administrative arrangement of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.

Fair Work Australia Act 2009

Additional information regarding employers legal responsibilities can be found at www.business.gov.au

State based information can be found at www.business.gov.au – legal obligations in your state or territory.

Insurance

What are my insurance obligations when taking on a student for a WIL placement?

Workplace insurance is normally covered by the tertiary institution where the WIL placement is a requirement of the course and a WIL Agreement has been signed by the employer, the student and the tertiary institution.  There may be exceptions, such as when the student is an employee of the host organisation.  

For further information please contact the individual tertiary institution that can provide advice on its policy and procedures.  

Occupational Health and Safety

What are my Occupational Health and Safety obligations when taking on a student for a WIL placement?

Commonwealth and state government legislation provides the framework for occupational health and safety for Australian workplaces.  Model Work Health and Safety laws are currently being developed, to harmonise Commonwealth and State laws, with all jurisdictions being required to enact new laws by December 2011 with a view to creating consistency across jurisdictions.  For further information on changes to Occupation Health and Safety laws please visit 

Safe Work Australia Model Work Health and Safety Legislation – FAQ

 Employers are required by law to provide a workplace environment that is safe and without risks to health.  Safe Work Australia has prepared a guide for educators and host organisations to prepare for student placements.  Safe Work Australia – Work Placement Guide 

For state based Work Health and Safety - Safe Work Australia – State and Territory Authorities 

For more information see Internships, Vocational Placements & Unpaid Work fact sheet or Fair Work Act 2009

Intellectual Property

Who owns the intellectual property created by students during WIL placements?

Ownership of intellectual property may vary depending on the type of WIL activity and the policies of the tertiary institution and the employer.  Generally, universities don’t claim intellectual property rights to students’ work, however there are some exceptions.  Where intellectual property does not belong to the student, it would usually belong to the employer, often with limited rights granted to the student and university. Ownership of intellectual property created during WIL placements can often be included in the WIL Agreement documentation.

For further information please contact the individual tertiary institution that can provide advice on its policy and procedures.