Protecting your business with Employment Agreements

The terms and conditions of employment in Australia can be defined by an award, agreement or contract. These can be written from the National Employment Standards (NES), which cover employment in the national workplace system, or using state or federal laws.

The NES are ten minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees. The national minimum wage and the NES make up the minimum entitlements for employees in Australia. An award, employment contract, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement can’t provide for conditions that are less than the national minimum wage or the NES. They can’t exclude the NES.

The 10 minimum entitlements of the NES are:

  • Maximum weekly hours.
  • Requests for flexible working arrangements.
  • Parental leave and related entitlements.
  • Annual leave.
  • Personal carers leave and compassionate leave.
  • Community services leave.
  • Long service leave.
  • Public holidays.
  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay.
  • Fair Work Information Statement.

A written employment contract is used to outline the wages and conditions for employees and will include information such as employer and employee details, employment status (full time, part time or casual), and start and end dates of the contract, pay rate, hours of work, job duties, bonuses, and performance standards.

The main advantage of an employment agreement is that it can include additional contract terms that specifically protect the employer’s business.


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