Last updated 5 February 2019
The Fair Work Act and Modern Awards
National Employment Standards
Enterprise or Collective Employment Agreements
Individual Employment Contracts
Workplace Health and Safety
It is important that all employees have a good understanding of the unique nature of the employer/employee relationship and what their rights and obligations within that relationship might be.
First and foremost, an employment relationship is a contractual one, freely entered into between the employer and the employee. Like all personal contracts that are entered into voluntarily, the parties have a large amount of latitude with which to determine for themselves what terms and conditions will govern the employment relationship.
Of course it is generally the case that the employer is in a far stronger bargaining position than the employee, and there may often be no genuine sense of bargaining. Rather, a prospective employee will often be presented with a set of terms and conditions with little room to discuss, let alone negotiate.
In addition to and sometimes instead of a written contract, the employment relationship will often be regulated by either an industrial award or a collective or enterprise agreement.