National Employment Standards


by AHR Support

National Employment Standards – What are they?

The National Employment Standards (NES) are the minimum terms and conditions that can be set for employment in accordance with the Fair Work Act (2009). These standards are the basis of any workplace award, enterprise, or employment agreement, with no terms or conditions within these to be less favourable than the minimum defined within the NES.

It is applicable to any employee within the ‘national workplace relations system’. The National Employment Standards (NES) are composed of 11 minimum standards for employment. The conditions and terms set within the NES can differ or does not apply to casual employees.

The 11 minimum standards are:

  • Maximum Weekly Hours: Minimum 38 hours per week for full time employees, plus any reasonably additional hours.
  • Flexible Working Arrangements: Minimum requirements for eligibility and process of how to apply for a change to ‘how’ an employee works in consideration of situation or circumstance. Such as location or start and finish times.
  • Casual Conversion: The process of changing from casual to permanent part time or full time. Defines the situations in which an employer must offer casual conversion or in which employees can ask. All employers are required to give casual employees the ‘Casual Employment Information Statement’ that provides information surrounding this.
  • Parental Leave and Related Entitlements: An employee’s right to take up to 12 months initial unpaid parental leave and the ability to request an additional 12 months unpaid parental leave following this. Inclusive of employee entitlements surrounding circumstance of adoption, paternity and maternity leave.
  • Annual Leave: Minimum 4 weeks annual paid leave per year. This is inclusive of an additional week if defined as a ‘shift’ worker.
  • Personal/Carers Leave, Compassionate and Bereavement Leave, Family and Domestic Violence Leave: Minimum employee entitlements of these leave provisions and specifics of how these can be utilised:
    • Personal/Carer’s Leave: 10 days of paid leave
    • Carer’s Leave: 2 days unpaid leave (as required)
    • Compassionate Leave: 2 days paid leave (as required) for permanent employees, 2 days unpaid leave (as required) for casuals.
    • Family and Domestic Violence Leave: 5 days unpaid leave (annually/ within 12 month period). 
  • Community Service Leave:
    • Jury Duty: 10 days of paid leave, anything following these 10 days is unpaid.
    • Volunteer community emergency activities: unpaid (as required).
  • Long Service Leave: Minimum specifications, which differs between awards. Any award prior to 2010 will have differing requirements and standards opposed to Modern Awards.
  • Public Holidays: Paid day off for each public holiday, except for when an employer reasonably asks an employee to work and meets minimum industry compensation.
  • Notice of Termination and Redundancy Pay:
    • Specifics of payment varies in accordance with the employee role, hours, and length of service.
    • Termination: 4 weeks written notice.
    • Redundancy: 16 weeks of severance pay.
  • Information Statements: All new employees must receive the Fair Work Information Statement, and all casuals must receive the Casual Employment Information Statement.

It can be a complex process to navigate the compliance of the National Employment Standards, alongside Modern Awards, and Employment and Enterprise Agreement terms and conditions. Call us at Assurance HR today and allow us to relieve you of this stress, acting as a third-party consultant to ensure that your business remains compliant within workplace law.  

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