What is the NES?

What is the NES?

In light of the recent casual employment legislation, there are now 11 National Employment Standards!

 

The National Employment Standards (“NES”) are 11 minimum terms and conditions of employment that apply to Australian employees.

 

While an employment contract, modern award, registered agreement or enterprise agreement can provide superior entitlements to these minimum standards, they must not fall below the standard provided by the NES.

 

The NES are set out in section 61 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (“the Act”).  We’ve included the 11 NES below with some general information.

 

  1. Maximum Weekly Hours

An employer must not request or require an employee to work more than 38 ordinary hours per week.  However, an employer and employee may agree to the employee working reasonable additional hours.

 

  1. Requests for Flexible Working Arrangements

Eligible employees can request a change to their working arrangements under certain circumstances.  For example, an employee may request to change their hours of work, pattern of work or work location, if they are the parent or have responsibility for the care of a child who is school aged or younger; are a carer; have a disability; are 55 or older; or are experiencing or are required to provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who is experiencing family or domestic violence.  Flexible working arrangements may be refused on reasonable business grounds.

 

  1. Offers and Requests for Casual Conversion

In certain circumstances, after 12 months, employers (excluding small business employers) must make a written offer to convert eligible casual employees to part-time or full-time employment unless they have reasonable grounds not to make an offer. Eligible casual employees (including those employed by small business employers) can also make a written request for conversion.

 

  1. Parental Leave and Related Entitlements

Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 months’ unpaid parental leave.  Employees are entitled to request an additional period of up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave subject to agreement between the employer and the employee. An employee’s request for an additional period of parental leave may be refused on reasonable business grounds.

 

  1. Annual Leave

Employees are entitled to four (4) weeks of annual leave per year.  Further, eligible shiftworkers may be entitled to an additional week of annual leave per year.  Annual leave is generally accrued and rolled over year to year.

 

  1. Personal/Carer’s Leave, Compassionate Leave and Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Employees are entitled to:

  • ten (10) days of paid personal/carers leave based on their ordinary hours of work.
  • two (2) days’ unpaid carer’s leave as required.
  • two (2) days paid compassionate leave per occasion.
  • five (5) days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave in a 12 month period.

Casual employees are excluded from paid leave entitlements.

 

  1. Community Service Leave

Employees may take unpaid leave for voluntary emergency activities and up to 10 days of paid leave for jury service (excluding casual employees).

 

  1. Long Service Leave

Employees are entitled to long service leave in accordance with applicable legislation based on their period of continuous service.

In Queensland, employees are entitled to a long service leave entitlement of 8.6667 weeks upon completing a period of ten (10) years’ continuous service.

 

  1. Public Holidays

An employee is entitled to be absent from his/her employment on a day that is a public holiday where the employee is based.  However, an employer and employee may agree to the employee working on a public holiday which may attract penalty rates.  An employee may refuse a request to work on a public holiday if the request to work is unreasonable, or the refusal to work is reasonable.

 

  1. Notice of Termination and Redundancy pay

An employer must not terminate an employee’s employment unless the employer has given the employee written notice of the day of the termination taking into consideration the minimum notice period.

The minimum notice periods are:

Employee’s length of continuous service Notice Period
Not more than one year One week
More than one year but not more than three years Two weeks
More than three years but not more than five years Three weeks
More than five years Four weeks
If you are over 45 years of age with at least two years continuous service with the Company, and the Company terminates your employment Add another one week

Where an employee’s employment is terminated for redundancy reasons, the employee may be entitled to redundancy pay. The amount of redundancy pay is dependent on the employees years of continuous service and if the employer is not considered a small business.

 

  1. Fair Work Information Statements

It is a requirement of the Fair Work Act that employers provide all new employees with a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement before or as soon as possible after they commence employment.

The Fair Work Information Statement can be printed and downloaded – here.

 

Other

Effective 27 March 2021, it is now a requirement of the Fair Work Act that employers provide all new and existing casual employees with a Casual Employment Information Statement (“CEIS”) before or as soon as practicable after they commence their employment. This can be delivered in person, by mail, or if the employee agrees, by email or a link to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

The CEIS can be printed and downloaded– here.

 

Resources

Fair Work Commission à https://www.fwc.gov.au/awards-and-agreements/minimum-wages-conditions/national-employment-standards

Fair Work Act à http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdb/au/legis/cth/consol_act/fwa2009114/

Contact our team today for more information.

 

HR Business Assist | P 1300 138 551 | E info@hrbusinessassist.com.au

 

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