Industrial law has undergone a lot of changes under The Fair Work Act introduced in 2009.

Industrial law and the majority of workplace issues in NSW are covered under the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW).  However, a national industrial relations system was introduced under The Fair Work Act 2009 to provide a national benchmark for minimum wages and conditions for all states and territories.

Which award covers my business?

On 1 January 2010, private sector NSW employers and employees previously covered by the NSW state award system (mainly sole traders and partnerships) moved into the national workplace relations system administered by the Federal Government. Federal and state awards were streamlined into 120 modern awards.

Transitional arrangements are now in place for businesses previously operating under the state industrial relations system. If you were covered by a federal award on 31 December 2009, including Notional Agreements Preserving State Awards (NAPSAs), you must now use the appropriate modern award.

If you were covered by a NSW state award on 31 December 2009, businesses will be required to use the appropriate modern award from 1 February 2011. If you are starting a new business as a sole trader or partnership, you will be covered by the appropriate modern award.

What are the National Employment Standards?

From 1 January 2010, employers and employees in the national workplace system are covered by the National Employment Standards (NES). All NSW businesses, whether previously covered by a federal award or a NSW state award, must apply these new standards for all their employees. The NES include minimum entitlements and conditions in relation to leave entitlements, public holidays, termination and redundancies.

The 10 National Employment Standards are:

Maximum weekly hours of work – 38 hours per week plus reasonable additional hours or work;

Requests for flexible working arrangements;

Parental leave and related entitlements;

Annual leave;

Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave;

Community service leave;

Long service leave;

Public holidays;

Notice of termination and redundancy pay;

Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement.

More information about the NES may be obtained from the Fair Work website or Infoline on 13 13 94.

For more information about industrial relations law and National Employment Standards, visit the NSW Industrial Relations website. Please contact our employment lawyers in Sydney during business hours on 1800 770 780 if you would like any advice regarding the new industrial laws and how to meet your obligations under the new legislation.

If you need any assistance with this topicplease contact us.

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Employment Contracts & Awards
What to Consider When Hiring a Contractor
Workplace Rights and Adverse Action
Wrongful Dismissal Vs Unfair Dismissal
Executive Employment Agreements rather then Employment Law
Breach Of Employment Contract / Wrongful Dismissal
Breach Of Fiduciary Duties
Changes to Parental Leave

Disciplinary Matters – Deceptive And Misleading Conduct
Employment Law
Employment Rights – Termination Of Employment
Industrial Law
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Law & Employers
How to deal with Workplace Bullying
Minimum Wage
Paid Parental Leave
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Redundancy & Redundancy Pay
Redundancy of Executive Employees
Restraint of Trade
Small To Medium Businesses And Employment Law
Surveillance in the Workplace
Terminating Employment Contracts
Think twice before Dismissing Employees on Workers’ Compensation
Unfair Dismissal – Not Covered By An Award
When Competitors Steal Staff There Are Legal Consequences
Work Place Safety

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