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A cooperative and productive workplace is one of the most crucial aspects of any successful business. Engaging a workforce and properly planning industrial arrangements can however be a challenging and complex endeavour.
Employment relationships in Australia are governed by a broad array of legislation, industrial instruments and case law that regulate all stages of the process, from hiring, through to finalising employment, and beyond.
Most Australian employers are subject to the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
The Act has the stated aim of providing a balanced framework for cooperative and productive workplace relations by providing laws that are fair to working Australians and are flexible for businesses.
Part of the bargain for all national system employers is a requirement to comply with ten minimum employment standards (the National Employment Standards) which regulate:
- maximum weekly working hours;
- requests for flexible working arrangements;
- parental leave and related entitlements;
- annual leave;
- personal carers leave and compassionate leave;
- community service leave;
- long service leave;
- public holidays;
- notice of termination and redundancy pay;
- provision of a Fair Work information statement.
Modern Awards and other industrial instruments may set out other minimum standards of employment, some of which may be flexible, but many of which are mandatory.
Failure to comply can result in penalties of up to $10,800.00 for individuals and $54,000.00 for corporations.
Getting it right requires employers to properly understand their obligations and to carefully consider their industrial requirements. Well drafted employment agreements and workplace policies are a significant step towards ensuring that you and your workforce understand the workplace bargain.
It is important to seek specific advice regarding your circumstances as this fact sheet provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice.
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