The National Employment Standards (NES) are 10 universal employment entitlements that are found in Part 2-2 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) that apply to national workplace relations system employees. Parts of the NES may also extend to employees beyond the national workplace relations system. They include entitlements such as annual leave, maternity leave, parental leave, sick leave, compassionate leave, and so on (Fair Work Ombudsman).
The 10 NES are minimum standards that cannot be overridden by the terms of enterprise agreements or awards.
The 10 NES entitlements relate to the following matters:
1. Maximum of 38 weekly hours of work
2. Requests for flexible working arrangements
3. Parental leave and related entitlements – each employee is entitled to up to 12 months unpaid leave
4. Annual leave
5. Personal/carer's leave and compassionate leave
6. Community service leave
7. Long service leave
8. Public holidays
9. Notice of termination and redundancy pay
10. The Fair Work Information Statement is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Must be provided by employers to all new employees, and contains information about the NES, Trade union rights of entry, employees right to freedom of association, modern awards, agreement-making, termination of employment, individual flexibility arrangements, transfer of business, and the respective roles of the Fair Work Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Yes! All employees in the national workplace relations system are covered by the NES regardless of the award, registered agreement or employment contract that applies (however only certain entitlements apply to casual employees).
Casual employees only get certain NES entitlements which are:
In some states and territories long serving casuals are eligible for long service leave.
In Victoria, providing that the employee has had continuous employment with one employer and there has been no longer than a three month absence between two periods of employment then LSL is accrued by the employee.
Independent contractors and business owners are usually not employees and would not be eligible for long service leave provided by the LSL Act.
In addition, where there is an expectation of ongoing work for a casual and the casual has been employed regularly and systematically for at least 12 months, they have extra entitlements from the NES. These are:
The right to request flexible working arrangements
Access to parental leave.