The National Employment Standards (NES) are 11 minimum terms and conditions of employment (set out in Part 2-2 of the Fair Work Act 2009) that apply to national workplace relations system employees. Parts of the NES may also extend to employees beyond the national workplace relations system.
The NES are minimum standards that cannot be overridden by the terms of enterprise agreements or awards.
The 11 NES relate to the following matters:
1. Maximum of 38 weekly hours of work – plus reasonable additional hours.
2. Requests for flexible working arrangements – in certain circumstances employees can request a change in their working arrangements.
3. Offers and requests for casual conversion – in certain circumstances, after 12 months, employers (but not small business employers) must make a written offer to convert eligible casual employees to part-time or full-time unless they have reasonable grounds not to make an offer. Eligible casual employees (including those employed by small business employers) can make a written request for conversion.
The Casual Employment Information Statement must be given by employers to all their employees. It is available on the Fair Work Ombudsman's website.
4. Parental leave and related entitlements – up to 12 months' unpaid leave for each employee, plus a right to request an additional 12 months' unpaid leave, plus other forms of maternity, paternity and adoption-related leave.
5. Annual leave
6. Personal/carer's leave (includes sick leave), compassionate leave and unpaid family and domestic violence leave
7. Community service leave – unpaid leave for voluntary emergency activities and up to 10 days of paid leave for jury service (after 10 days is unpaid).
8. Long service leave – a transitional entitlement for employees as outlined in an applicable pre-modernised award, pending the development of a uniform national long service leave standard.
9. Public holidays – a paid day off on each public holiday, except where reasonably requested to work.
10. Notice of termination and redundancy pay
up to 4 weeks' notice of termination (plus an extra week for employees over 45 years of age who have been in the job for at least 2 years)
both based on length of service.
11. The Fair Work Information Statement must be given by employers to all new employees. It is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman.