The Fair Work Ombudsman is responsible for the National Employment Standards (NES)

The National Employment Standards are 10 minimum conditions for ALL Australian employees. Together with the national minimum wage, they are a minimum safety net for employees.

They include minimum entitlements for leave, public holidays, notice of termination and redundancy pay. The NES does not deal with basic rates of pay and casual loadings, these are instead contained in modern awards. 

The NES deals with 10 minimum conditions including;

  • Maximum weekly hours of work
  • Requests for flexible working arrangements
  • Parental leave and related entitlements
  • Annual leave
  • Personal/carer's leave and compassionate leave
  • Public holidays
  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay
  • Community service leave
  • Long service leave
  • The Fair Work Information Statement

Generally, the NES apply to all employees covered by the national system, including those to whom a workplace agreement made under the former legislation or enterprise agreement made under the Fair Work act applies.

Modern awards are able to supplement the NES in a limited number of circumstances specified in the NES, for example, to allow averaging of hours of work over a specified period. Otherwise, all of the provisions in the NES must be complied with. 

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