Employee Contracts and the National Employment Standards

Gordon Legal are expert employment lawyers in Sydney and Melbourne. Whether you are starting a new job, already working, or have recently departed your employment, Gordon Legal are able to advise you on what your rights and entitlements might be to ensure that you are afforded a fair go. Gordon Legal takes pride in the fact its employment lawyers focus on employees and their rights in the workplace.

In this article we will discuss the National Employment Standards, how they interact with employment contracts and what an employment lawyer from Gordon Legal in Sydney and Melbourne might be able to do to help you.

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) is the principle piece of legislation governing employment relationships in Australia. It covers the vast majority of employees although there are a few exceptions and will underpin your employment contract.

The National Employment Standards are minimum terms and conditions. Your employment contract, award or enterprise agreement can improve on these conditions but they cannot go below them. For example, if you have an employment contract that contains a term that is less favourable than a term of the National Employment Standards then not only is the term unenforceable by the employer but they might also be liable for penalties. 

The National Employment Standards cover ten areas which they call standards. It is important to understand what these standards are in case of an employment law dispute or there are questions about how your employment contract. The standard relates to:

  1. Maximum weekly hours;
  2. Requests for flexible working arrangements;
  3. Parental leave and related entitlements;
  4. Annual leave;
  5. Personal/carers leave and compassionate leave;
  6. Community service leave;
  7. Long service leave;
  8. Public holidays;
  9. Notice of termination and redundancy pay;
  10. Fair Work Information Statement.

It is important to remember that the National Employment Standards are minimum terms and conditions. You can of course go up and improve on them and the employment lawyers at Gordon Legal are skilled at either negotiating for an improvement or taking steps to enforce your employment contract rights when there is a contravention of the National Employment Standards.

A recent case we acted in involved the National Employment Standards which permits an employee to take paid annual leave. The employment lawyers at Gordon Legal were able to assert rights on behalf of the employee to be paid their annual leave consistent with the national employment standards despite the best efforts of the employer to deny the entitlement. The fact that the employer was contravening the national employment standards resulted in them being faced significant penalties which led to the matter being quickly resolved.  

Gordon Legal employment lawyers in Sydney and Melbourne are experienced in all employment contract matters. Our lawyers take pride in explaining the rights of employees so you can be confident that you are being paid consistent with the law and your employment contract. We can negotiate on your behalf, advise you discreetly or take action on your behalf in relation to all employment law matters. Please get in touch with Gordon Legal on 1300 59 95 17 and chat to our friendly staff.