National Employment Standards

Changes to casual employment – industrial relations reforms

On 26 March 2021, sections of the Fair Work Act relating to casual employees were amended.

We have detailed information and guidance about the changes. We’ve also reviewed and updated the information on this page.

For more information, see Changes to casual employment – industrial relations reforms.

The National Employment Standards (NES) are 11 minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees.

The national minimum wage and the NES make up the minimum entitlements for employees in Australia. An award, employment contract, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement can't provide for conditions that are less than the national minimum wage or the NES. They can’t exclude the NES.

The 11 minimum entitlements of the NES are:

Who's covered by the NES

All employees in the national workplace relations system are covered by the NES regardless of the award, registered agreement or employment contract that applies.

Casual employees and the NES

Casual employees only get some NES entitlements including:

In some states and territories long serving casuals are eligible for long service leave.

Casual employees can request flexible working arrangements and take unpaid parental leave if:

  • they have been employed by their employer as a casual employee on a regular and systematic basis over at least 12 months, and
  • they reasonably expect to continue being employed by the employer on a regular and systematic basis.

See Casual employees for more information.

Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.61 external-icon.png

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

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