Employment and National Employment Standards

The Fair Work Act 2009 came into force on 1 January 2010.
It applies to employers covered by the National system.

Fair Work Information Statement

From 1 January 2010 an employer must give a Fair Work Information Statement to its employees. The Statement sets out the right and entitlements under the Fair Work Act.

The minimum employment standards are set out below and the Statement is available at www.fairwork.gov.au.

National Employment Standards (NES)

The minimum entitlements an employee must receive are:

  1. Maximum weekly hours of work – 38 hours per week, plus reasonable additional hours.
  2. Requests for flexible working arrangements – allows parents of carers of a child under school age or of a child under 18 with a disability, to request a change in working arrangements to assist with the child’s care.
  3. Parental leave and related entitlements – up to 12months unpaid leave for every employee, plus a right to request an additional 12 months unpaid leave.
  4. Annual leave – 4 weeks paid leave per year, plus an additional week for certain workers.
  5. Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave – 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave, 2 days unpaid carer’s leave as required, and 2 days compassionate leave (unpaid for casuals) as required.
  6. Community service leave – unpaid leave for voluntary emergency activities and leave for jury service, with an entitlement to be paid for up to 10 days for jury service.
  7. Long service leave (LSL) – a transitional entitlement for certain employees who had certain LSL entitlements before 1January 2010pending the development of a uniform national long service leave standard.
  8. Public holidays – a paid day off on a public holiday except where reasonably requested to work.
  9. Notice of termination and redundancy pay – up to 4weeks notice of termination (5 weeks if the employee is over 45 and has at least 2 years of continuous service) and up to 16 weeks redundancy pay, both based on length of service.
  10. Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement –as outlined above.

A failure to comply with the NES will expose employers to significant penalties which range from $6,600 for individual employers to $33,000 for corporate employers. Employers must ensure that their contracts and their work practices must comply with the Fair Work Act.

Who does the NES apply to:-

  • Full-time Employees and
  • Casual Employees on a limited basis.

The NES does not apply to Contractors.