Current National Employment Standards

The legal conditions and obligations of employing staff are quite intricate and it is imperative that businesses stay up to date with changes to workplace relations legislation. 

On 1 January 2010, the Fair Work Act introduced National Employment Standards. These are 10 minimum standards of employment for all employees covered by the National Workplace Relations system. 

The introduction of these standards is a step in the right direction for workplace relations reform as they provide a solid foundation to providing employees with fairer work conditions and more standardised entitlements for the nation as a whole. They provide employers with a fundamental starting point when considering their human resource requirements and what they can be offering employees in order to attract and retain them within their organisation.

A summary of the current National Employment Standards:

  1. Maximum hours of work – 38 hours per week, plus reasonable additional hours.
  2. Employees who are parents or carers of children under school age or with a disability and under 18 can request for flexible working arrangements to assist with the child’s care
  3. Unpaid parental leave can be up to 12 months unpaid leave for every employee, plus a right to request an additional 12 months unpaid leave, plus other forms of maternity, paternity and adoption related leave 
  4. A full time employee is entitled to 4 weeks of paid annual leave per annum which accrues progressively throughout the year of service.  There is an additional week’s entitlement for shift workers as defined in a ‘modern award’
  5. Full time employees are entitled to 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave per annum, two days unpaid carer’s leave as required, and two days compassionate leave (unpaid for casuals) as required
  6. Employees are also entitled to community service leave which includes 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. There is a transitional entitlement for certain employees who had certain long service leave entitlements before 1 January 2010 pending the development of a uniform national long service leave standard 
  8. An employee is entitled to be absent and paid on a public holiday, except where reasonably requested to work
  9. An employee who is terminated for reasons other than serious misconduct must be given a period of notice of payment in lieu of notice calculated on continuous service.  Employers are obliged to pay severance pay unless they employ less than 15 employees
  10. Employers must give each new employee recruited after the 1 January 2010 the Fair Work Information Statement on commencement of employment.

More information can be found at

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Azure Group
Azure Group

Azure Group is the leading Chartered Accounting, Business Advisory and Strategic Advisory firm supporting the growth & success of fast growing entrepreneurial businesses.

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