Fair Work Information Statement and the National Employment Standards
Australia’s new workplace relations system From 1 July 2009, most Australian workplaces are governed by a new system created by the Fair Work Act 2009. The Fair Work Ombudsman helps employees, employers, contractors and the community to understand and comply with the new system. We provide education, information and advice, investigate workplace complaints, and enforce relevant Commonwealth workplace laws.
The provision of the Fair Work Information Statement (the Statement) forms part of the National Employment Standards (NES). As of 1 January 2010, the NES apply to all employees covered by the national workplace relations system, regardless of the applicable industrial instrument or contract of employment.
Terms in awards, agreements and employment contracts cannot exclude or provide for an entitlement less than the NES, and have no effect. An employer must not contravene a provision of the NES. A contravention of a provision of the NES may result in penalties of up to $6,600 for an individual and $33,000 for a corporation.
The Statement must be given to each new employee commencing employment from 1 January 2010.
The Statement is published by the Fair Work Ombudsman and must be published in the Commonwealth Government Notices Gazette (the Gazette). If the Fair Work Ombudsman changes the Statement in any way, they must publish the new version in the Gazette.
What information must be contained in the Statement?
The Statement contains information about the following:
• the NES
• modern awards
• agreement-making under the Fair Work Act 2009
• the right to freedom of association
• the role of Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Ombudsman
• termination of employment
• individual flexibility arrangements
• right of entry (including the protection of personal information by privacy laws)
• an explanation of the effect on an employee’s entitlements under the NES if both of the following occur:
–– a transfer of a business occurs as described in the Fair Work Act 2009
–– the employee becomes a transferring employee.
Who must receive the Statement?
An employer must give each new employee the Statement before (or as soon as practicable after) the employee starts his or her employment. The employer is not required to give the employee the Statement more than once in 12 months.
Employers must give the Statement to an employee.
This may occur by any means, for example:
• the employer gives it to the employee personally
• the employer sends it by pre-paid post to:
–– the employee’s residential address or
–– a postal address nominated by the employee
• the employer sends it to:
–– the employee’s work email address or
–– another email address nominated by the employee
• the employer sends to the employee’s work email address (or to another email address nominated by the employee):
–– an electronic link to the Fair Work Ombudsman website on which the Statement is located or
–– an electronic link that takes the employee directly to a copy of the Statement on the employer’s intranet
• the employer faxes it to:
–– the employee’s work fax number or
–– the employee’s home fax number or
–– another fax number nominated by the employee.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has published a fact sheet on each NES entitlement. For further information on a specific NES entitlement, please see the relevant fact sheets at www.fwo.gov.au
For further information, visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact Fair Work Online 13 13 94.
Introduction to the NES
Maximum working hours and the NES
Requests for flexible working arrangements and the NES
Parental leave and related entitlements and the NES
Annual leave and the NES
Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave and the NES
Community service leave and the NES
Long service leave and the NES
Public holidays and the NES
Notice of termination and redundancy pay and the NES