All Questions Employment Law What Are The National Employment Standards (NES)?
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What Are The National Employment Standards (NES)?


To figure out what the National Employment Standards are, we first need to look at who is covered by them. The National Employment Standards apply to staff in Australia who are covered by the national workplace relations system. The National Employment Standards make up a part of the national workplace relations system, with the other parts being registered agreements, awards and the Fair Work Act.

Who Is Covered by the NES?

The national workplace relations system does not cover everyone working in Australia though – exceptions include employees who work in the public sector or local government in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland, employees in the state public sector of Tasmania, and employees who work in the state public sector, or non-constitutional corporations in local government or private industry in Western Australia.

What Entitlements Does NES Cover?

The National Employment Standards are made up of different entitlements depending on whether an employee is employed on a casual or part time/full time basis.

The following ten minimum standards are entitlements for non casual workers and are the following;

  • 38 hours per week as maximum hours to be worked plus ‘reasonable additional hours’
  • Requesting flexible work arrangements
  • Parental leave
  • Annual leave
  • Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave
Justine is a legal consultant at Sprintlaw. She has experience in civil law and human rights law with a double degree in law and media production. Justine has an interest in intellectual property and employment law.

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