What are the National Employment Standards?
From 1 January 2010, the National Employment Standards (NES) replace the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standards and function as a safety net for employees covered by the national workplace relations system.
What are the 10 National Employment Standards entitlements?
- Maximum weekly hours of work: 38 hours per week, plus reasonable additional hours.
- Request for flexible working arrangements: an entitlement allowing 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 in order to assist with the care of the child.
- Parental leave and related entitlements: up to 12 months unpaid leave per employee, plus a right to request an additional 12 months unpaid leave, plus other forms of maternity, paternity and adoption-related leave.
- Annual leave: four weeks paid leave per year, plus an additional week for certain shift workers.
- 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.
- 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.
- Long service leave: a transitional entitlement for employees as outlined in an applicable pre-modernised Award, pending the development of a uniform national long service leave standard.
- Public holidays: a paid day off on a public holiday, except where reasonably requested to work.
- Notice of termination and redundancy pay: up to five weeks notice of termination and up to 16 weeks severance pay on redundancy, both based on length of service.
- Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement: must be provided by employers to all new employees, and contains information about the NES, Modern Awards, Agreement-making, the right to freedom of association, termination of employment, individual flexibility arrangements, Union rights of entry, transfer of business, and the respective roles of Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Who does the NES apply to?
The NES applies to all employees covered by the national workplace relations system regardless of the applicable industrial instrument or contract of employment. Terms in Awards, Agreements, and employment contracts cannot exclude or provide for an entitlement less than the NES. However, in some cases employees must have worked for 12 months before becoming eligible to access these entitlements.
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