Sources of Employment Rights
Unions have campaigned to win and defend virtually every workplace right that we enjoy today —from the 38-hour work week to superannuation and to paid family and domestic violence leave. Those employment rights come from a number of different legal sources. There are also several different organisations that establish, administer and enforce these rights and standards. In this section you can find information on:
Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme
Workers on the PALM scheme come from nine specific countries to work in Australia on a seasonal or long-term basis.
Seasonal farm work
Most of this fact sheet is about seasonal work on and around farms in Australia i.e. horticulture. This work is seasonal because it happens around planting and harvesting cycles and so employers often hire workers on a temporary basis.
Labour hire is a form of employment in which an employer (“host”) hires a worker from a labour hire agency (“provider”) for a short period of time.
Modern awards are documents which set minimum employment standards in a specific industry or sector.
Fair Work Commission
The Fair Work Commission is the organisation responsible for administering and enforcing the Fair Work Act. It is also Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal.
Employment contracts can never provide conditions that are worse than those in National Employment Standards or the award or agreement that covers your workplace.
The National Employment Standards
The National Employment Standards (NES) are 12 minimum standards that apply to nearly all employees in Australia.
Fair Work Ombudsman
The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent agency of the Federal Government. It provides employers and employees with information about their obligations and rights in the workplace.
Types of Employment
How you are employed affects what your entitlements are at work, what responsibilities you have and even how much you can expect to be paid.
Enterprise agreements are deals made between employers and employees and their union about the terms and conditions of their employment.