The Safety Net - Best Practice Guide - Employment Rights/Industrial Relations - Australia (2023)

To print this article, you simply need to be registered or logged in to

The safety net consists of the 10 national employment standards (NES) and modern awards and establishes the minimum employment conditions for all employees of the federal system. Below is a snapshot of items specific to each NES Right.


An employer must comply with the NES in relation to each of its employees.

Any attempt to exclude the NES or provide less favorable rights will not be effective as the NES's right simply takes precedence. Such an attempt could also put the employer at risk of violating the NES, which could result in criminal prosecution, fines and/or an order to remedy a violation.

An employer may agree to supplement the NES by providing more favorable rights. Machine terms that are secondary or incidental to an NES claim are also allowed, e.g. B. to indicate how an employee should request annual leave. Conditions that are ancillary, ancillary, or supplemental to the NES should not distract the employee.

Specific provisions in the NES allow the grant agreement or modern company agreements to address matters that might otherwise violate the NES, e.g. B. to allow for the deduction of paid annual leave.


  • The minimum rights in the WL include standard conditions such as working hours, vacation, public holidays, termination and severance pay.
  • 123 Modern Awards went into effect on January 1, 2010 after conducting a comprehensive review process that streamlined and streamlined thousands of existing awards.
  • Modern awards are industry-based or apply to specific professions.


Maximum weekly working hours

An employer may request or demand that an employee work additional hours, but only if they are reasonable. An employee can refuse overtime if this is unreasonable. A non-exhaustive list of factors to consider in determining appropriateness is included in the NES.

Requests for flexible working arrangements

An employer can refuse an employee's request for flexible working arrangements for "reasonable business reasons". If you do this, an employee cannot appeal the decisionFair Work Act 2009(Cth) (FWA Act), unless employer and employee have agreed with FairWork Australia (FWA) or an independent third party dealing with the matter under an employment contract, company agreement or other written agreement. Depending on the circumstances, an employee may have a remedy under applicable discrimination law if their application is denied.

The NES does not specifically state what "reasonable business reasons" may or may not be. Appropriateness is to be assessed under the circumstances prevailing at the time of the application.

Examples of reasonable business reasons include:

  • the employer's workplace and business impact of approving the application, including the financial impact of such approval and the impact on efficiency, productivity and customer service
  • the inability to organize work among existing employees
  • the impossibility of hiring a replacement employee; or the practicality or nullity of the arrangements that must be made to accommodate the employee's request.

paternity leave

Under the NES, an employee is entitled to unpaid leave related to childbirth or adoption. The separate terms for maternity and paternity leave are no longer used.

The total license period can be 24 months from the date of birth or adoption. The full period can be taken by an employee or by each member of an 'employee couple' taking 12 months of separate leave.

If an employee wishes to take more than 12 months leave alone or as part of an employee couple, the employee can apply to their employer for a longer period. The extension period may not exceed 12 months minus any unpaid parental leave taken or requested by the other member of the working couple.

An employer may refuse an employee's request for additional paternity leave, but only for sound business reasons. The above discussion of the FWA's handling of disputes and the examples of sound business reasons apply here as well.

The length of "simultaneous leave" (the period that can be taken by the worker and his or her spouse or domestic partner at the same time near the date of birth or adoption) has also been increased to three weeks.

(Video) Small Business Best Practice Guide

Government-funded paid parental leave became available on January 1, 2011. The state-funded plan provides eligible working fathers with 18 weeks of weekly minimum wage.


Trevor and Glenys can take up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave after the birth of their child for a total of 24 months provided the periods do not overlap (but initially for a three week period) and one period begins the other thereafter. ends

If only Glenys takes leave, she could take 12 months off and another 12 months if she wanted, as long as her employer agrees to the extension. If Glenys takes the additional 12 months leave, Trevor will not be entitled to unpaid parental leave.

If Glenys wants to take 18 months leave, she must get approval from her employer for the additional six months leave and Trevor can take six months leave.

Glenys and Trevor would have to apply for paid paternity leave from the Commonwealth FamilyAssistance Office. The employer would receive the money from the state and pay the paid paternity leave directly to the employee as an entitlement to the job.

bank of hours

The standard entitlement to four weeks of paid annual leave applies. The NES establishes retreat arrangements and vacation instructions.

The NES clarifies that annual leave can only be deducted under the terms contained in a modern collective or company agreement or an agreement between an employer and a non-bonus/contract worker.

The redemption of paid annual leave is not permitted if an award or agreement applicable to the employee does not contain a retirement provision. In order for an employer and an employee to be able to accept paid leave without a bonus/agreement, certain conditions must be met.

Holidays must be taken at the time or times agreed between the employer and the employee. An employer may also require an employee to take annual leave on terms that may be included in a modern company agreement or arrangement or as agreed with an employee without an allowance/arrangement, but only if the requirement is reasonable.

Personal/carer leave and conditional leave

Standard entitlement to ten days paid leave for staff/carers and humanitarian leave applies, together with entitlement to unpaid leave for the carer for workers who have exhausted their entitlement to paid leave. The right to unpaid leave for carers will be extended to casual workers under the NES. The limit of ten days per year for taking paid nursing leave no longer applies.

A worker may also withdraw their entitlement to paid leave/care leave under the express provisions of a modern contract or social agreement.

The standard entitlement is two days of paid humanitarian leave per occasion, and casual workers may take unpaid humanitarian leave for the same amount of time.

Non-Profit License

Employees (including casual employees) participating in an eligible community service activity have the right to take time off work to participate in the activity.

A qualifying community service activity includes:

  • legal service
  • voluntary emergency response (e.g. voluntary firefighting).

The NES establishes the manner and circumstances in which an employee (other than a casual employee) is entitled to payment while serving on a jury. The right to be paid under the NES is limited to a total of ten days, although the right to be paid to a jury continues under an applicable law of a state or territory if the duration of jury duty exceeds the ten day period.

(Video) Killer Smiles After Father Attacks Him For Killing His Daughter

The NES also does not exclude state or territory laws that provide more beneficial rights than those under the NES Community Service License (eg.

Long Service License

The current perpetual license (LSL) on the NES is a transitional device and will eventually be phased out as the federal government develops a unified national LSL standard. The government has stated that the LSL standard will be developed in consultation with the states and territories.

If an employee is not entitled to LSL under the NES, the right under applicable state or territory LSL law applies.

It is important to note that state or territory LSL laws do not form part of an employee's right to LSL under the NES.

An employee is eligible for LSL under the NES under the “applicable LSL terms resulting from the award”. In certain circumstances, parties can request the FWA to maintain national LSL systems based on genuine agreements.

public holidays

An employee has the right to be absent from work on any day or part of a day that is a public holiday (as prescribed by the NES) in the place where he is for work purposes.

If an employee is absent from work on a day or part of a day that is a public holiday, the employee is entitled to payment of his or her basic wage for normal working hours for that day. An employee is not entitled to paid leave on a public holiday if he did not work normally on that day.

For example, if a public holiday falls on a Tuesday and the part-time worker is scheduled to work only on Wednesday and Friday, the worker is not entitled to payment for the public holiday that falls on a Tuesday.

termination and severance pay

The notice period for an employee depends on the length of the employee's uninterrupted service. At the lowest end, a worker who has been with their employer for less than a year is entitled to one week's notice. ' note. An employee over the age of 45 is entitled to an additional week's notice if they have been employed continuously for at least two years. The date of termination must be communicated in writing.

Employees are entitled to severance pay if their employment is terminated at the initiative of the employer because the employer no longer requires the work performed by the employee to be performed by someone else, or because the employer is insolvent or insolvent. The entitlement is staggered and is based on the employee's length of service at the time of termination. An employee who has worked for more than one year but less than two years is entitled to four weekly wages. An employee who has been continuously employed for more than nine years but less than ten years is entitled to 16 weeks of severance pay.

The employee's seniority prior to January 1, 2010, the date the NES became effective, is counted only if the employee is entitled under another instrument, such as a modern (or corporate) award, agreement, or contract on severance pay from work.

The NES Termination and Dismissal Standards do not apply to an employee who is a casual or temporary employee or to an employee who has been terminated without notice for gross misconduct.

Declaration on fair working conditions

The Fair Work Ombudsman has prepared the declaration form that must be given to the employee who starts the employment relationship.

The Fair Labor Information Statement can be viewed


What are an employee's "normal working hours"?

The standard hours of work for an employee covered by a modern corporate award or agreement is the normal hours of work specified in the award or agreement.

(Video) What are your Salary Expectations? | Best Answer (from former CEO)

Modern accolades are required to dictate or designate normal hours. While not required, trade deals should do the same.

In general, the standard working time of an employee without a bonus/agreement is the hours agreed between the employee and his employer as standard working hours. Other rules allow normal hours of work to be calculated when no such agreement is made, and also provide protection to the worker when his waking hours are less than his normal hours of work.

Who is a “non-contract/contract employee”?

An unpaid employee/contract is an employee who is not eligible for a modern award, company agreement or 'transitional instrument' (e.g. workplace agreement, Australian workplace agreement (AWA) or a certified early retirement agreement).

What is an employee's "base wage"?

An employee's "base rate" is the rate payable to the employee for his or her normal hours of work, but does not include:

  • Incentive-based payments and bonuses
  • broadcasts
  • monetary grants
  • overtime or penalties
  • any other separately identifiable amount.

What is the significance of an employee's "base rate" under the NES?

An employee's 'base rate' is relevant in calculating the amount to be paid to an employee when taking various forms of leave under the NES. This includes paid annual leave, paid care or staff leave, paid absence from work on public holidays, or when an employee takes paid “safe non-working time” leave (an NES parental leave entitlement).

What is an employee's "full pay rate"?

An employee's "full wage rate" is the wage rate payable to the employee, including all of the following:

  • Incentive-based payments and bonuses
  • broadcasts
  • monetary grants
  • overtime or penalties
  • any other separately identifiable amounts (e.g., amounts payable to an employee that the employee waived under a sacrificial payment or other arrangement in order to receive other benefits).

What is the significance of an employee's "total wage rate" under the NES?

An employee's "full rate of pay" applies to two NES claims. A worker who receives termination pay upon termination is entitled to the full payment, as is a pregnant worker who is transferred to reasonably secure employment (an NES parental leave entitlement).

Who is an employee's "de facto partner"?

This term refers to a person who, although not legally married to the worker, lives with the worker in a genuine civil union, whether the worker and the person are of the same or opposite sex, and also includes a former civil partner one of the worker.

How relevant is the definition of "de facto partner" to the NES?

The definition of "domestic partner" means that the rights under the NES to care leave, parental leave and unpaid parental leave related to childbirth apply equally to members of both sexes and same-sex couples and their children.


Modern awards form the second element of the safety net.

Who is covered?

Modern awards replace pre-reform federal bonuses (except corporate bonuses), sham agreements retain state bonuses (in NAPSA) and state-of-the-art transition premiums.

Most Australian staff are likely to be covered by a modern award. Modern awards apply to workers and employers on a broad industry or job basis. However, modern bonuses generally do not apply to employees who are not traditionally covered by bonuses because of their seniority. Modern premiums also do not apply to high-income individuals whose “annual guaranteed income” is above a threshold ($118,100 for 2011-12 and adjusted annually on July 1). This exemption only applies if the employer gives a written commitment to pay the employee annual earnings in excess of the limit.

It's also important to remember that while a modern award covers most employees, it doesn't mean it applies directly to your employment. There are a number of excluded workers, including those who are excluded by employment contracts (but not including certified early retirement agreements), company bonuses, government-protected agreements (public announcements) and AW.

What do modern awards cover?

Modern awards may supplement the NES and include ten additional minimum employment conditions covering:

  • minimum wage
  • Forms of work (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual work)
  • overtime pay and fines
  • Working agreements (e.g. lists)
  • Annualized Salary Agreements
  • allowances
  • go out, go out loading
  • retirement
  • Advice and dispute resolution
  • external staff
  • industry-specific redundancy.

Another important aspect of modern concessions is the scope for individual flexibility agreements (Like) with each award-winning employee. These IFAs may make individual agreements covering, for example, overtime, penalties, working hours and allowances on terms other than the modern bonus. Strict conditions apply to the conclusion of these agreements.

(Video) The best "Elevator Pitch" of the World?

Important for BOOT

Modern awards also support the collective bargaining process for award-covered employees by providing the benchmark against which company agreements are measured for the best overall test.


Corrections have been made to allow the transition to modern awards. Modern concessions contain "model transitional provisions" which include a period of five years (with annual increases of 20% during this period) in relation to changes in rights resulting from modern concessions. These transitional provisions began on July 1, 2010 (six months after the modern awards began). Topics included in the Template Terms related to onboarding are:

  • Minimum wages, including wages for junior staff, workers on apprenticeship contracts and workers with disabilities
  • occasional and part-time loads
  • Saturday, Sunday, holidays, nights and other penalties
  • shift inserts.

While the modern compensation has been effective since January 1, 2010, the transition period began on July 1, 2010. The challenge for employees is to correctly apply the transitional provisions that will be implemented over the next five years.

Impact on Net Salary

The "model transitional provisions" also clarify that the granting of the bonus or the application of the transitional provisions are not intended to reduce the net pay of the employees covered by the bonus. In this case, the employee has the right to request take-away payment instructions from the FWA.

Awards for companies

Many employers work with company-specific bonuses. These employers have the option of applying to the FWA to modernize their business awards. Unupdated corporate awards will no longer apply after December 31, 2013.


It is important that employers take steps to ensure safety net (NES and modern awards) compliance. Fair WorkOmbudsman has a clear statute for enforcing compliance, and the FW Act imposes penalties (up to $6,600 for an individual and $33,000 for a corporation) for violations of the NES Conditions or modern jurisprudence.


Have you reviewed your licensing and employment policies and procedures to ensure they are compliant with the NES and modern awards? Have you taken steps to communicate rights changes and respond to requests?

Have you checked the modern bonuses that apply to your workers?

Have you considered changing your contracts for high net worth employees to offer a "guaranteed annual income" above the cap?

Are your managers aware of the factors that can determine whether an employee's request for flexible working arrangements or additional parental leave is appropriate?

Are your employment contracts up to date?


Our national labor, employment and safety relations team has many specialist lawyers who can help you hit the safety net.

© FOR Piper

This publication is intended as an overview and discussion of the issues covered. It is not intended, and should not be relied upon, as a substitute for legal advice in any particular situation. DLA Piper Australia accepts no liability for any action taken or not taken as a result of this publication.

DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm operating through a number of separate and distinct legal entities. For more information,

(Video) Tell Me About Yourself | Best Answer (from former CEO)


What is the role of the safety net in agreement making in Australia? ›

A legislated safety net (the Fair Pay Standard) covers parental leave, wages including a minimum wage (set by a Fair Pay Commission), annual leave, standard hours and personal leave for those who cannot make agreements superior to the safety net. Award content is to be reduced.

What is safety net in Fair Work Act? ›

A safety net contractual entitlement is an entitlement under an employment contract that relates to any of the subject matters described in either the National Employment Standards or a modern award.

What are the three main sources of employment law in Australia? ›

National Employment Standards (NES) Work Health and Safety Standards (WHS) State and Federal anti-discrimination laws.

What are three 3 rights and responsibilities of employees in relation to WHS? ›

the right to be consulted about safety in the workplace. the right to workers compensation. the right to a fair and just workplace. the right to fair pay and conditions.

What are the four 4 main roles of Safe Work Australia? ›

What we do
  • advice on improving work health and safety.
  • provide licences and registration for potentially dangerous work.
  • investigate workplace incidents and enforce work health and safety laws in NSW.

What is main purpose of safety net? ›

Safety nets are designed to deflect and absorb the energy of a fall so they reduce the likelihood of a person being injured. There must be enough clear space below the net so that as the net deflects, the person who has fallen does not strike an obstacle or the ground.

What is the standard of safety net? ›

The mesh size of nets shall not exceed 6 inches by 6 inches. All new nets shall meet accepted performance standards of 17,500 foot-pounds minimum impact resistance as determined and certified by the manufacturers, and shall bear a label of proof test.

What is a safety net give examples? ›

The main examples of the safety net are Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), nutritional assistance, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

What are 3 parts of the social safety net? ›

The term social safety net is used in a broader context to mean any program that benefits individuals or families. This broad definition includes Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment.

What rights do employees have in Australia? ›

workplace rights. the right to engage in industrial activities. the right to be free from unlawful discrimination. the right to be free from undue influence or pressure in negotiating individual arrangements.

What is the employment relations of Australia? ›

Australia's workplace relations laws

A safety net of minimum terms and conditions of employment. A system of enterprise-level collective bargaining underpinned by bargaining obligations and rules governing industrial action. Protections against unfair or unlawful termination of employment.

What are the rights of employers in Australia? ›

In Australia, employers have the right to hire and dismiss workers providing they are following proper procedures. Employers also have the right to expect reasonable work performance from their staff. The WHS Act covers more employee rights compared to employer rights.

What are the 3 major rights as an employee? ›

What are the three main rights of workers?
  • The right to know about health and safety matters.
  • The right to participate in decisions that could affect their health and safety.
  • The right to refuse work that could affect their health and safety and that of others.

What are 5 employee rights in the workplace? ›

To be paid the agreed wage on the agreed date and at the agreed time. To be provided with appropriate resources and equipment to enable him/her to do the job. To have safe working conditions. To fair labour practices.

What are the basic rights and responsibilities of employees and employers? ›

Fair wage, equal pay, pay slip, safe and healthy workplace, holidays and leave. Duty to do right and avoid doing wrong. Honest and trustworthy, fair day's work, respect property of employer, be punctual. Sources of energy that do not damage the environment.

What is Australia's version of OSHA? ›

Safe Work Australia is an Australian government statutory agency. We develop national policy to improve work health and safety (WHS) and workers' compensation arrangements across Australia.

What are 5 roles of safe work Australia? ›

Managing health and safety
  • Identify, assess and control hazards.
  • Personal protective equipment.
  • Emergency plans and procedures.
  • Mental health.

What is the Australian equivalent of OSHA? ›

Safe Work Australia is the national work health and safety policy agency. In Australia work health and safety is regulated by states and territories rather than by the Commonwealth of Australia.

What is required for safety netting? ›

The safety net must have a full and continuous (spliced joint) border rope, with a minimum breaking strength of 30kN. Identification label. Every net must have an ID label with the date of manufacture, net system and class, net size and reference to the product standard (BS EN 1263-1: 2014) Unique serial number.

Which of the following is included in the safety net? ›

Examples of SSNs are previously-contributory social pensions, in-kind and food transfers, conditional and unconditional cash transfers, fee waivers, public works, and school feeding programs.

What is a safety net quizlet? ›

• Safety nets. govt programs that protect the minimum standard of living of families & individuals against loss of income.

What are the safety nets of human factors? ›

A safety net could include developing the habit of always going back three steps in your work after being distracted. The training teaches you that your mind can work faster than your hands, and thus you may think and believe you have completed a task when in fact you have not.

What are some examples of safety net programs provide at least three? ›

  • Health assistance: Medicaid, including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Nutrition assistance: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps); Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and free or reduced-price school meals.
May 24, 2022

What is meant by safety netting? ›

Research summary

Safety-netting is information given to a patient or their carer during a primary care consultation, about actions to take if their condition fails to improve, changes or if they have further concerns about their health in the future.

What are the 4 social protection frameworks? ›

Social protection consists of five major elements: labor markets, social insurance, social assistance, micro and area-based schemes to protect communities and child protection.

What are the major social safety net programs describe? ›

The principal government programs assisting those with low cash income, whether endemic or resulting from mass unemployment, are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, once called Food Stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Unemployment Insurance (UI).

What are the roles and responsibilities of Safe Work Australia? ›

Safe Work Australia is a national policy body representing the interests of the Commonwealth, states and territories, as well as workers and employers. We work to achieve healthier, safer and more productive workplaces through improvements to work health and safety ( WHS ) and workers' compensation arrangements.

What is the purpose of the Medicare safety net threshold? ›

Medicare Safety Nets have thresholds. These are the dollar amounts you need to reach in gap and out of pocket costs to be eligible. When you're eligible, you'll start getting higher Medicare benefits. This means you'll get more money back from us for certain Medicare services.

What are the safety acts and regulations used in Australia? ›

The model WHS Act forms the basis of the WHS Acts that have been implemented in most jurisdictions across Australia. The main object of the Act is to provide for a balanced and nationally consistent framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces.

What is a safety net contractual entitlement? ›

What is a safety net contractual entitlement? It's an entitlement that an employee has in their employment contract that relates to a matter: in the National Employment Standards (NES), or. that can be included in a modern award.

Which of the 5 principles by Safe Work Australia describes the following safe design should be either demonstrated or accessed by any person influencing design? ›

Principle 4: Safe Design Knowledge and Capability

– should be either demonstrated or acquired by persons with control over design.

What are 3 employer responsibilities in a safe workplace? ›

Your employer's duty of care in practice

make the workplace safe. prevent risks to health. make sure that plant and machinery is safe to use. make sure safe working practices are set up and followed.

Who is eligible for Medicare safety net? ›

If you're enrolled in Medicare, you're eligible for Medicare Safety Nets. If you're part of a family or couple you can combine your costs by registering as a family. You can register for Medicare Safety Nets as a family or couple.

What is the safety net limit for 2022? ›

General patients

From 1 July, the PBS Safety Net threshold will be lowered to $1,457.10 for non‑concessional (general) patients. This means they'll only pay the concessional co-payment of $6.80 for PBS medicines when they reach the lowered threshold.

What is the Australian standard which has the requirements for safe working practices on or near low voltage electrical installations? ›

EL-044 : Safe Working on Low-Voltage Electrical Installations.

What are the three Australian standards covering safety signs in Australia? ›

The main Australian Standard which relates to Safety Signs is AS 1319 – Safety signs for the occupational environment.
What are the requirements of AS 1319?
  • regulate and control safety related behaviour;
  • warn of hazards; and.
  • provide emergency information including fire protection information.

What are the 4 types of safety signs in Australia? ›

The six types of official safety signs in Australia include:
  • Prohibition signs.
  • Mandatory signs.
  • Warning signs.
  • Danger signs.
  • Emergency information signs.
  • Fire signs.

What is safety net offer? ›

The social safety net (SSN) consists of non-contributory assistance existing to improve lives of vulnerable families and individuals experiencing poverty and destitution.

What is the difference between social protection and safety nets? ›

Social protection is a broader concept than safety nets. Although there is no universally agreed definition of social protection, there is growing consensus that it includes safety nets, mostly in the form of cash or food transfers; social services, such as health clinics; and insurance options.

What are social safety net benefits? ›

Health assistance: Medicaid, including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Nutrition assistance: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps); Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and free or reduced-price school meals.


1. Brené Brown's Life Advice Will Leave You SPEECHLESS (MUST WATCH)
2. A Color Test That Can Tell Your Mental Age
3. Sex-for-rent offered by landlords - BBC News
(BBC News)
4. Spoon Is Used To Remove Man's Cyst! | Dr. Pimple Popper
(tlc uk)
5. Why You'll HATE living in JAPAN
(Mrs Eats)
6. How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions Sample Answers
(Self Made Millennial)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Fredrick Kertzmann

Last Updated: 06/19/2023

Views: 6513

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Fredrick Kertzmann

Birthday: 2000-04-29

Address: Apt. 203 613 Huels Gateway, Ralphtown, LA 40204

Phone: +2135150832870

Job: Regional Design Producer

Hobby: Nordic skating, Lacemaking, Mountain biking, Rowing, Gardening, Water sports, role-playing games

Introduction: My name is Fredrick Kertzmann, I am a gleaming, encouraging, inexpensive, thankful, tender, quaint, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.