National Employment Standards (NES)

National Employment Standards

The National Employment Standards are 10 minimum conditions which will apply to every employee regardless of the industry they work in (other than State Government employees). Essentially the NES are an expansion of the Australian Fair Pay Conditions Standards that existed under WorkChoices. The National Employment Standards are a set of 10 minimum conditions as follows:

 –          hours of work – limited to 38 hours plus reasonable overtime;

–          parental leave – 12 months unpaid as of right plus a right to request a further 12 months;

–          flexible work for parents – a right to request and an employer’s right to refuse;

–          annual leave – 4 weeks for full time and 5 weeks for shift workers;

–          personal/carers and compassionate leave – 10 days leave;

–          Community Service leave – jury service/emergency service;

–          public holidays – same as in State Act;

–          information in workplace about rights, entitlements and union membership;

–          long service leave – same as in State Act;

–          termination and redundancy – we will look at these in more detail in the next 2 slides.

Notice on Termination

The standards set out the minimum period of notice to be provided in cases of termination. The period of notice is dependant upon the length of service with an extra week for employees who are over 45 and who have completed 2 years of service.



 Redundancy now becomes a minimum entitlement and is extended to all employees – redundancy has not always been available to all employees unless it was a condition in the award or certified agreement.

Under the redundancy provisions in the Act, there is no entitlement to redundancy if the employer employs fewer than 15 employees at the time of the termination or the time of notice of termination. The calculation of 15 employees does not include casual employees unless they’ve been employed for over 12 months on a regular and systemic basis.

The table of years of service indicates how years of service will provide an entitlement to redundancy but it is important to note that the years of service only relates to years of service from 1 January 2010.

Redundancy is payable if the employer “no longer requires the job of the employee to be done by anyone”.