Glossary & Acronyms

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An agreement to be paid a specified amount of pay for work over a 12 month period. They are often included in employment contracts. Other known term: annualised salary.

The name of legislation (laws) introducing changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 and other existing laws.

A serious contravention happens when a court finds that a person or business knew they were contravening an obligation under workplace laws, or were reckless as to whether the contravention would occur.

Serious misconduct involves an employee deliberately behaving in a way that is inconsistent with continuing their employment. Examples include: causing serious and imminent risk to the health and safety of another person or to the reputation or profits of their employer’s business, theft, fraud, assault, sexual harassment or refusing to carry out a lawful and reasonable instruction that is part of the job. Other known term: misconduct.

Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance or request for sexual favours to another person, and other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person. Examples might include unwelcome touching, staring or leering, or a suggestive comment or joke. To be sexual harassment, it has to be reasonable to expect that there is a possibility that the person being harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated by the behaviour.

Where an employer represents to a worker that an employment relationship is an independent contracting arrangement when the employer doesn’t reasonably believe this.

An employee who works fixed hours of work (eg. shifts or rosters) that are outside or partly outside of normal working hours (eg. 9am – 5pm). Awards and registered agreements often provide a specific definition of shiftworker.

A shutdown is when a business temporarily closes, such as Christmas and New Year.

An enterprise agreement that sets out minimum employment conditions applying to a single employer, or closely related employers.

A small business employer is an employer with fewer than 15 employees at a particular time. If an employer has 15 or more employees at a particular time, they are no longer a small business employer. When counting the number of employees, employees of associated entities of the employer are included. Casual employees are not included unless engaged on a regular and systematic basis.

An individual who runs his or her own business as an individual, rather than through a partnership or company.

A pregnant employee who is eligible for unpaid parental leave can take unpaid special parental leave if they're unfit for work because they: are pregnant and have a pregnancy-related illness, or have a pregnancy loss after 12 weeks and their baby is not stillborn.

When an employee is told not to go to work by an employer because they cannot be usefully employed due to specified circumstances, including a strike or machinery breakdown. Employees are not paid during a period of stand down.

A pay rate defined in each award, used to calculate some entitlements like overtime and allowances. It is usually the rate for a specified classification (eg. Level 3).

A written statement declared to be true in front of an authorised witness.

A stillbirth is the birth of a baby where the baby weighed at least 400 grams or reached at least 20 weeks gestation but hasn’t breathed or had a heartbeat since their delivery.

An automatic end or termination of a legal document, like a registered agreement, from a certain date. This means the legal document no longer has effect from that date. Also see Zombie agreements.

Money paid by an employer on behalf of an employee into a superannuation fund to provide for the employee’s retirement. Other known term: employer contribution.

An assessed wage system for employees with a disability is based on productivity.