On 1 January 2010, employers and employees in the national workplace system became covered by the new 10 National Employment Standards (NES).
Under the NES, employees have certain minimum conditions. Together with pay rates in modern awards, the NES make up the safety net that cannot be altered to the disadvantage of the employee.
What are the 10 NES entitlements?
The NES are set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 and involve the following minimum entitlements:
Maximum weekly hours of work – 38 hours per week, plus reasonable additional hours.
Requests for flexible working arrangements – allows 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 to assist with the child’s care.
Parental leave and related entitlements – up to 12 months unpaid leave for every employee, plus a right to request an additional 12 months unpaid leave, plus other forms of maternity, paternity and adoption related leave.
Annual leave – 4 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 certain employees who had certain LSL entitlements before 1/1/10 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 4 weeks notice of termination (5 weeks if the employee is over 45 and has at least 2 years of continuous service) and up to 16 weeks redundancy pay, both based on length of service.
Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement – employers must provide this statement to all new employees. It contains information about the NES, modern awards, agreement-making, the right to freedom of association, termination of employment, individual flexibility arrangements, rights of entry, transfer of business, and the respective roles of Fair Work Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman.
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