BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

Are you compliant with employment standards?

Recent conversations with employers made me realise many are flying blind when it comes to current employment legislation.  Although there’s a lot of information available online, it’s not always easy to find.

Now there’s an easier way…

To make it easy for you to find the information you need to comply with employment law I’ve gathered the basics together in this blog post.  When you click on each item, you will find the relevant downloadable fact sheets.

You’ll have all the information at your fingertips if you bookmark this post for future reference.  

In Australia, the National Employment Standards are set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 and comprise 10 minimum standards of employment. In summary, the NES cover the following minimum entitlements:

  1. Maximum weekly hours of work – 38 hours per week, plus reasonable additional hours.
  2. Requests for flexible working arrangements – allows parents or 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 12 months unpaid leave for every employee, plus a right to request an additional 12 months unpaid leave, and other forms of maternity, paternity and adoption related leave.
  4. Annual leave – 4 weeks paid leave per year, plus an additional week for certain shift workers.
  5. Personal / carer’s leave and compassionate leave – 10 days paid personal / carer’s leave, two days unpaid carer’s leave as required, and two 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 – a transitional entitlement for employees who had certain LSL entitlements before 1/1/10 pending 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 4 weeks 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 – employers must provide this statement to all new employees. It contains information about the NES, modern awards, agreement-making, the right to freedom of association, termination of employment, individual flexibility arrangements, right of entry, transfer of business, and the respective roles of Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman.
If you need further assistance, we are happy to put you in touch with consultants who specialise in this area.
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4 thoughts on “Are you compliant with employment standards?

    1. susan Post author

      Thanks, Jo. I found myself scratching round for this information when I had a question from any of my clients, so now it’s easier for me to find, too!

      Reply
  1. Ken Edmonds

    I found reading this very entertaining – for all the right reasons.

    I have spent the last 20 years living and working in Europe and North America and have a lot of experience in their HR laws. This review of the Australian workplace equivalents is very revealing.

    * 38 hours a week! Not if you want to hire French nationals – they only work 30 hours a week at most.
    * Flexible working arrangements – this is only a subject of interest if you are working in the dark ages. Employers not wedded to ancient brick and mortar based workplace attitudes take flexible working practices as normal and not worth mentioning. Speaks badly about lack of Management skills.
    * Long service leave – are Australians still using this outmoded practice? Wow – no “Managing For Achievement” or other incentive schemes then? Does not speak well for Management skills.
    * Fair Working clauses? You only need these if your national employee protection legislation is deficient. And it is in Australasia. Most of this stuff would be laughed out of existence in Europe. Where is the legislation protecting employees? Where are the standard employment contracts?

    Not a good picture of Australian management.

    Reply
    1. susan Post author

      Hi Ken. Interesting to read your comments from a different perspective.
      I think we have made more progress than you think. For example, long service leave is far from the only form of reward.
      As to Fair Working clauses – this is oue national employee protection legislation! You should have seen it before…
      In an ideal world – and already in many professional businesses – these minimum regulations are rarely required. But you’d be surprised (or maybe not!) what happens in many SMEs who don’t have the benefit of HR advice.

      Reply

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