From 1 January 2010, the Government’s safety net of minimum entitlements comprises two planks:
- National Employment Standards (NES) which are 10 legislated minimum conditions of employment. These apply to all corporate employers as well as non-corporate employers in all territories and States (other than WA) who have referred powers.
- Modern awards – The AIRC published on 4 December the final four modern awards, the final step in a truly epic two-year modernisation process that has fundamentally reshaped Australia’s employment safety net. There are 122 modern awards in all, which apply as a common rule to all employees in an occupation or industry as scoped in the award. Individual flexibility agreements can be entered with employees varying specific award items (overtime, penalty rates, allowances, leave loading and times of work).