The National Employment Standards
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The National Employment Standards (NES) are 11 minimum standards that apply to nearly all employees in Australia.
The 11 minimum entitlements are:
- A maximum of 38 hours of work each week for full time employees – less for part-time employees – plus some additional hours where reasonable
- The right to request flexible working arrangements for workers in certain situations
- Parental leave and other related entitlements
- Annual leave – at least four weeks for full-time employees and five weeks for shift workers
- Sick and carers’ leave, compassionate leave and 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence leave
- Community service leave
- Long service leave
- The right to take a paid day off on public holidays (unpaid for casuals) – unless there is a reasonable expectation that you work
- Notice of termination and redundancy pay
- Receiving the Fair Work Information Statement when you start a new job, which covers your basic workplace rights, as well some information about the role of the Fair Work Commission
- Casual conversion – a pathway casual employees can take to become a permanent employee.
Who is covered by the National Employment Standards?
Most employees are entitled to the minimum standards listed above. Workers who are not covered include:
- Anyone engaged as an independent contractor
- Some state public sector employees
Casual employees only have the right to some of the minimum standards.
Casuals and the National Employment Standards
Casual employees are only entitled to some NES entitlements:
- Maximum weekly hours
- Unpaid carer’s leave
- Unpaid compassionate leave
- 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence leave
- Community service leave
- Receiving the Fair Work Information Statement when starting a new job
- Public holidays
- Casual conversion
If you are a casual employee and have been working for the same employer for more than a year, you may also have the right to take unpaid parental leave and request flexible working arrangements.
In some instances, casual employees may also be eligible for long service leave.
Need more information about the National Employment Standards? You can contact your union or the Australian Unions Support Centre for free, confidential information and advice about any workplace issue.
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