Fair Work legislation — dot point summary

Analysis

Fair Work legislation — dot point summary

Fair Work legislation encompasses the new federal workplace relations regime that will commence progressively from1 July 2009. WorkplaceInfo presents the first instalment of a dot point summary of the legislation that will grow over time — leading up to its commencement.

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Fair Work legislation encompasses the new federal workplace relations regime that will commence progressively from1 July 2009. WorkplaceInfo presents a dot point summary of the legislation that will grow over time — leading up to its commencement.
 
Below are the key points relating to the National Employment Standards and the Modern award system.
 
These summaries were prepared by Leah Brown, senior workplace policy adviser with Australian Business Industrial.
 
National Employment Standards
  • Employment Standards (NES) are the new set of 10 minimum standards
  • apply to all employees in the national system — regardless of seniority or rate of pay
  • commence 1 January 2010
  • build on the current Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standards
  • cannot be undercut by an award, agreement or common law contract at any time
 
Hours of work
  • 38hrs/wk + reasonable additional hours
 
Annual leave
  • 4 weeks per year + additional week for some shiftworkers
 
Personal leave
  • part-time/full-time: 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave per year; 2 days paid compassionate leave per occasion; and 2 days unpaid carer’s leave per occasion
  • casuals: 2 days unpaid compassionate leave; and 2 days unpaid carer’s leave per occasion
 
Community service leave
  • unpaid leave for eligible community service activity; up to 10 days ‘make-up pay’ for jury service
 
Parental leave
  • 12 months unpaid leave for each parent
  • right to request additional 12 months leave (one parent only), can only be refused on reasonable business grounds
 
Right to request flexible working arrangements
  • parents' children below school age have right to request flexible working arrangements, which can only be refused on reasonable business grounds
 
Long service leave
  • maintenance of existing frameworks
  • govt working towards nationally consistent scheme
 
Public holidays
  • employee entitled to day off on public holiday; however, employer may make reasonable request for employees to work
  • penalty rates derived from awards
 
Termination of employment and redundancy
  • notice of termination (1–4 weeks notice + 1) 
  • redundancy pay (4–16 weeks severance pay for employers with 15+ employees)
 
Information in the workplace
  • employer must provide Fair Work Information Statement to new employees on commencement
 
Modern Awards
  • Modern awards commence 1 January 2010
  • approx. 5000 NAPSAs and federal awards to be replaced by approx. 150 Modern Awards
  • process of award modernisation currently underway
    • Stage 1: completed 19 December 2008
    • Stage 2: to be completed 3 April 2009
    • Stage 3: to be completed 4 September 2009
    • Stage 4: to be completed 4 December 2009
  • Modern Awards = Industry and Occupational Awards
  • ‘Enterprise’ or ‘Named-Employer’ NAPSAs and awards continue to operate
  • Modern Awards intended to not disadvantage employees, or increase costs for employers
  • potentially up to 5 years to phase out state differences
  • Modern Awards cannot exclude or undercut NES; however, they can:
    • provide ancillary or incidental detail about operation of NES
    • supplement NES
  • Modern Awards may also contain content about the following matters:
    • classifications and minimum wages including incentive payments, bonuses annual leave loadings and allowances
    • types of employment and the facilitation of flexible working arrangements (especially for employees with family responsibilities)
    • working hours patterns, rostering, rest and meal breaks
    • overtime rates
    • penalties for unsocial hours (weekends, public hols) and shift work
    • provisions for annualised or all up rates
    • allowances (reimbursement, disability, higher duties)
    • leave, loadings and leave-taking arrangements
    • superannuation
    • procedures for consultation, representation and dispute settlement.
 
Source: Leah Brown, senior workplace policy adviser with Australian Business Industrial.
 
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