The Bill creates 10 National Employment Standards, intended to
be a "safety net" of minimum conditions. The Standards
cannot be overridden by an individual contract or by an award or
The 10 minimum conditions include:
The right to a 38 hour week with reasonable additional
The right to request flexible working hours or conditions
Up to 24 months unpaid parental leave and guaranteed return to
4 weeks annual leave
10 days paid personal/carer's leave
The right to unpaid leave for community service work, such as
volunteer work for a State Emergency Service
Preservation of long service leave entitlements
Public holidays, with a limited right to request employees work
on a public holiday
Set periods for notice of termination and redundancy pay
Distribution of Fair Work Information Statements
The standards apply to all employees of "constitutional
corporations", that is trading or financial corporations,
regardless of their industry or occupation and will operate in
addition to any existing award provisions.
The Bill also preserves a national minimum wage. Minimum wages
set out in awards will now be reviewed every year by a specialist
Minimum Wage Panel within Fair Work Australia. The minimum wages in
modern awards will override any lower rates in an enterprise
agreement made under the Bill. The Bill also requires Fair Work
Australia to make a national minimum wage order to provide minimum
wages for all award free employees.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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