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Most employment relationships in Australia are now covered by the new national workplace relations system - the Fair Work system. Some parts of the Fair Work system started on 1 July 2009.

Since 1 January 2010, sole traders, partnerships, other unincorporated entities and non-trading corporations in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania have been covered by the national system rather than their own specific state system. Employers who were already operating under the national system continue to be covered (e.g. Pty Ltd businesses and employers in the ACT, NT and Victoria).

In this section

Fair Work Information Statement
All employers in the national workplace relations system must give each new employee the Fair Work Information Statement before, or as soon as possible after they start their job.
National Employment Standards (NES)
Everyone needs to know about the NES. These are set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 and comprise 10 minimum standards of employment. They provide a safety net for all employees in the national workplace relations system.
This section contains things every employer should know, including what industrial instrument you're covered by, types of employment, discrimination and workplace inspections.
This section looks at issues for employees. You’ll find information and resources to help you understand your rights at work and what you can do if you’re not getting your entitlements. It includes information about pay, modern awards, the National Employment Standards and the Fair Work Information Statement.
Independent contractors
Are you an employee or an independent contractor? There are a number of indicators to help tell the difference. This section explains and raises other important issues for contractors.
Agreements set out the employment conditions between an employee or group of employees and an employer. Find out about different types of agreements, how you can get help to make an agreement and what to do if there is industrial action.
Apprentices & trainees
Apprenticeships and traineeships are formal training arrangements between an employer and an employee. This section has information about the rights and obligations of apprentices and trainees. You’ll also find out about pay and conditions.
Industrial action
Industrial action includes strikes, work bans and lock-outs. Find out about protected, unprotected and unlawful industrial action.
Young workers
Starting your first job? This section explains things you need to know about your employment conditions before you start work and when you start work. It covers things like harassment and discrimination, union membership, and the importance of workplace health and safety.
Casual, full-time and part-time work
To work out the right pay and conditions you’ll need to know whether an employee is full-time, part-time or casual. In this section, you’ll find out the differences as well as information about casual entitlements.
Piece rates and commission
This section covers pay rates and conditions for pieceworkers and commission-based employees. Most pieceworkers and commission-based employees get their minimum terms and conditions from modern awards and the National Employment Standards.
Employees with disability
This section covers how modern and pre-modern awards apply to employees with disability. It explains the special national minimum wage.
International students
Many international students get part-time or casual jobs while studying in Australia. This section will help you understand your workplace rights.
Shift workers
This page outlines the special conditions for shift workers. Whether an employee is a shift worker will depend on what they’re covered by. Minimum wages and conditions also depend on what the shift worker is covered by.
Do you work for an employer but in your own home? As an outworker you have minimum rights and entitlements for the work you do. This includes minimum wages and other conditions.
Unions are registered under national workplace relations law. Find out about their role, union visits and meetings, and how to bargain with unions.
General protections
At work, employees have certain rights, including workplace minimum wages and conditions, the right to join in industrial activities (such as joining a union) and the right to be free from discrimination. These rights are called ‘general protections’.
Under the Fair Work Act 2009, discrimination is treating someone differently (and worse) in the workplace because of race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin.
Seasonal Worker Program
Under this program, approved employers in certain industries can employ people from 8 Pacific island nations and East Timor. Find out about employee entitlements, our role and where to go for more information about the program.
Hours of work
Find out about the hours you or your employees can work, including breaks and overtime.
Flexible working arrangements
Some employees have the right to ask for flexible working arrangements. These requests can only be refused for certain reasons. In this section you’ll find information about who’s eligible, how to apply and what employers need to do.
When businesses change owners
There are rules about what happens to an employee’s entitlements when a business changes owners. This section includes information on what happens to an employee’s industrial instrument, leave entitlements and redundancy pay.
Temporary closures
Some business shut down for a short time during slow times, such as over the Christmas and New Year period. In some situations employees can also be stood down because there is no useful work for them. This section explains the difference between shut downs and stand downs and employee entitlements.
Working parents
Find information about being, hiring and managing a working parent. We have information about planning to take leave, leave entitlements and helping you have a work and family life balance.
Workers who think they’re being bullied at work can apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying.

Page last updated: 28 May 2012