Australia is known for strong and protective labour laws which protect Australian workers. Often businesses operating from overseas are unaware of employees’ rights and entitlements in Australia and leave themselves open to underpayment claims, unfair dismissal claims or general protection claims through a lack of understanding of Australian employment laws.

Below is an outline of some of the main entitlements to which most Australian employees are eligible.

Leave entitlements

Most Australian employees are entitled to annual leave, long service leave and sick leave.

The National Australian Employment Standards outline that all part-time and full-time employees are entitled to paid annual leave. This amount is 4 weeks based on their ordinary hours of work.

Shift workers can be entitled to more leave, this is calculated based on industry and other factors. Assistance calculating shift workers leave can be sought through the tool available at the Fair Work website:

Long service leave is managed at a state level, in NSW it is calculated based on the Long Service Leave Act 1955 (NSW).

Modern Award: Minimum wage and allowances

Many Australian employees are covered by Modern Awards. Modern awards cover the minimum entitlements for employees such as minimum wages based on seniority, training and experience, allowances such as uniform and meal breaks and schedules. These Awards apply to casual employees as well.

Some common Awards include:

  • Aged Care Award 2010
  • Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010
  • Children’s Services Award 2010
  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010
  • Hospitality Industry Award 2010

The Award may also set out conditions for the termination and redundancy of employees.

Modern Awards are essential to be aware of and follow carefully to avoid underpayment.

If you have any questions about Australian labour laws for your international business, give JFMLAW a call. We can let you know if you are on the right track or not.