What the employer doesn’t have to provide
Notice that there are a few things the employer hasn’t included in the deal:
• Your happiness
• Not to hurt your feelings
• Forgiving you if you mess up
• Responding to any personal crisis you may have
• Responding to any personal commitments you may have
• A great boss
• A job for life
• Really interesting work
• Use of company equipment for private purposes
• Great co-workers
• Promotion after a period of time
All of these things are YOUR responsibility. Te things you have read in this book will help you be
positive and happy at work, leading to your greater self-worth.
Awards and Fair Work
I have kept the information on the legalities of employment to the end. I hope that these rules and
regulations will be something that is working for you and your employer in the background, and
doesn’t become an issue. A good workplace is one where you are not continually questioning your
work conditions.
However it is important that you know what the deal is and whether you are receiving your fair
work conditions. Unfortunately with frst time employees this sometimes is not true. Mostly this
happens because of innocent mistakes. But these mistakes occur sometimes because you are not
aware of your entitlements.
A good place to start is the Australian Fairwork website. It has really good information on what you
need know as a new starter (www.fairwork.gov.au).
Te frst thing to understand about work is that there are NATIONAL Employment Standards
(NES), covering the MINIMUM standards of employment and deal with:
• Maximum working hours
• Arrangements for requesting change to working hours
• Annual leave
• Sick leave
• Public holidays
• Notice of termination of employment
• Unpaid leave
• Parental leave
• Long service leave
Also all new employees MUST be given a “Fair Work Information Statement”
and this is a NATIONAL requirement for ALL jobs.
Hierarchy of agreements
Tere are three broad levels of employment engagement rules:
1. Fair Work National Employment Standards (NES)
2. Industry Awards
3. Business or Enterprise Agreements
Te general rule is that at a business level the employees and the business may negotiate certain
things to suit the business/ employees but neither party (employees or companies) can override the
MINIMUM standards in the Award or NES.
If there is no Industry Award, or Enterprise agreement, then the NES applies. It’s a safety net for
Work type
Below are some types of employment that are common to all employment.
Te frst distinction is whether your work is full time, part time or casual??
Tese distinctions in job type are important.
Your entitlements are diferent for each of the job types. Your hours of work, rate of pay and some
conditions will be more (and less) based on the job type.
Be sure to clarify with your boss which of the above applies to your new job.
Full-Time (permanent) employees
Tis signifes that these jobs have an ongoing contract of employment. Tese jobs require a
maximum of 38 hours / week, plus reasonable additional hours as required. You will likely have
a minimum employment probationary period before you are eligible for the benefts of having a
permanent job.
Part time (permanent) employees
In this type of work, the employer has seen that he permanently needs your services but the job
doesn’t require 38 hours per week. A part-time worker will have regular work of less than 38 hours
per week. You still receive the same entitlements as a full-time worker, but on a pro-rata basis. So if
you work half the hours, you receive half the entitlements.
Casual employee
In this type of employment, you have NO guaranteed hours, and no entitlements like sick
However you may receive a casual loading (extra allowances) to compensate you for doing a job that
does not have the same level of security as a permanent job.
Ofen casual jobs lead to permanent jobs. Most employers will fll permanent jobs from the people
that have been working under a casual arrangement. So when you are working as a casual you need
to remember that the boss will be evaluating your performance and suitability for a permanent job.
Fixed term employee
An employer may also have a job that is required for a fxed length of time. Under this arrangement
you know that there will come a time when the job is no longer required and you will leave the
For example, as a new starter you may also be engaged as a fxed term employee, to cover for a
permanent employee while they are away. Under this arrangement you may be full time, or a part-
time (permanent) employee.
A casual employee rarely flls a fxed term job, because there is normally a guaranteed number of
hours that are required for work.
Special rules apply to apprenticeships.
Junior employee
As a new starter you will likely be a junior employee, under 21 years of age. You receive the same
entitlements of sick leave, annual leave etc., but usually a lower rate of pay, based on your age.
Can I be asked to work for NO PAY?
Yes. Unpaid work trials are allowed. However, it must be brief and only to determine your suitability
for the job. Fair work Australia suggests that a maximum of one shif is sufcient for a boss to
confrm that you can do the most complex of jobs.
You should be continuously supervised during a work trial. For safety and health reasons, NEVER
agree to a work trial where you are not going to be permanently supervised.
Other types of work arrangements that may apply to new starters