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Home » Document » Employment Law – Part 1 – How will the new workplace relations laws introduced on 1 July 2009 affect you?

Employment Law – Part 1 – How will the new workplace relations laws introduced on 1 July 2009 affect you?

The introduction of new workplace relations laws through the Fair Work Act 2009 has changed employment law in Australia as we know it. The aim of the Australian Government in implementing this change is to effectively balance the various needs of employees, employers and unions with a view to ensuring Australia becoming a better country financially and guaranteeing minimum workplace standards and maintaining workplace rights.
Who will oversee the new workplace system?
The body created by the government with the task of overseeing the new work place system is “Fair Work Australia”. It is essentially a national workplace relations tribunal with numerous powers and functions. This includes: termination of employment claims, the ability to vary awards, make minimum wage orders, make bargaining and industrial action orders, resolve disputes in the workplace.
Minimum Employment Conditions
Employees under the new system will effectively have stronger protection of their rights through what the government calls a “safety net”.

This safety net is comprised of 10 National Employment Standards as follows:

  1. maximum weekly hours of work;
  2. the right to request flexible working arrangements;
  3. parental leave and related entitlements;
  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. A ‘Fair Work Information Statement’ for all employees that makes clear their rights and entitlements under the new system and how to get advice and help.

And, new modern awards.

Modern awards will be industry or occupation based, in that they will have terms that are designed to cover the needs of a specific industry.

Such terms may include but are not limited to; minimum wages, overtime rates, penalty rates, superannuation, annual wage, allowances, types of employment, and leave.

It should be noted that modern awards can be negotiated between both employee and employer to ensure each individual circumstance is taken into account.

The safety net will apply to employees who are in the federal system as of 1 January 2010.

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