Key Features of the Fair Work System

  • 10 minimum National Employment Standards
  • 122 Modern Awards
  • National minimum wage
  • Protection from unfair dismissal

Who’s covered by the Fair Work System

You are covered by the national workplace relations system if you:

  • work for a constitutional corporation
  • work in Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory (there are some exceptions)
  • work in the private sector in New South Wales, Queensland or South Australia
  • work in the private sector or local government sector in Tasmania.

National Employment Standards (NES)

10 minimum workplace entitlements apply to all employees: 

1. 38 hours a week maximum (full-time employee) + ‘reasonable’ additional hours.

2. The right to request flexible working arrangements.

3. 12 months parental and adoption leave (unpaid), with the right to request an additional 12 months.

4. Four weeks paid annual leave each year (pro rata for part-time).

5. 10 days paid sick and carer’s leave each year (pro rata for part-time), 2 days paid compassionate leave for each permissible occasion, 2 days unpaid carer’s leave for each permissible occasion, and 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave (in a 12-month period).

6. Community service leave for jury service or activities dealing with certain emergencies or natural disasters. (unpaid except for jury service)

7. Long service leave.

8. Entitlement to public holidays with pay for ordinary hours on those days.

9. Notice of termination and redundancy pay.

10. The right to receive this Fair Work Information Statement.

National Minimum Wage

Is usually set by an Award or an Enterprise Agreement. 

If no modern award or enterprise agreement then at least the national minimum wage applies.

National minimum wage is:

  • $18.93 per hour for full-time and part-time adult employees 
  • $23.66 for casual adult employees.

Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal is when an employee is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.

To apply for unfair dismissal, employees must:

  • Be employed for at least 6 months, or 12 months for those working for a small business.
  • Apply to the Commission within 21 days of the dismissal taking effect.

Small Business Fair Dismissal Code

A small business is defined as any business with fewer than 15 employees.

There are different rules for dismissal for Small Businesses. 

The Commission will deem a dismissal to be fair if the employer follows the Code and can provide evidence of this.