About employee rights in Australia
Several laws and agreements provide employees in Australia with a range of entitlements and protections at work:
Laws under the Fair Work Act
This act specifies the minimum entitlements for all employees, including the National Employment Standards (NES)
Industry and occupation awards
Covering most employees in Australia, awards set the minimum pay and conditions for an industry or occupation
These set minimum pay and conditions for a particular workplace, which are negotiated and approved through a formal process
These provide additional conditions for an individual employee (note that these can’t be less than the minimum entitlements)
Who has rights as an employee in Australia?
All employees in Australia have minimum entitlements, under the National Minimum Wage and the National Employment Standards (NES). Employers cannot provide less than this stipulated wage or standards, regardless of whether their workers are employed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis.
However, note that casual workers are not eligible for all NES entitlements.
Employment status definitions
Full-time: Individuals with an ongoing contract of employment, which provides employment on a permanent basis
Part-time: Individuals with an ongoing contract of employment, which provides employment on a permanent basis but with fewer working hours than the “ordinary” 38-hour workweek
Casual: Individuals employed per shift and with no guaranteed hours of work
Employee rights in Australia
There are 11 minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees under the National Employment Standards (NES), which fall into several categories:
The right to fair working hours
- Maximum weekly hours
- Requests for flexible working arrangements
- Offers and requests to convert from casual to permanent employers
The right to time off work
- Annual leave
- Personal/carer’s leave, compassionate leave, and unpaid family domestic violence leave
- Community service leave
- Long service leave
- Public holidays
Rights when you lose your job
- Notice of termination and redundancy pay
The right to be informed
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