Last updated 5 February 2019

The 10 minimum employment entitlements listed in the National Employment Standards are an integral part of the federal system of industrial relations and relate to:

  • maximum hours of work per week
  • parental leave and related entitlements
  • flexible working arrangements
  • annual leave entitlements
  • personal, carer’s and compassionate leave entitlements, and unpaid family and domestic violence leave
  • community service leave entitlements
  • public holidays
  • provision of a Fair Work Information Statement
  • termination of employment and redundancy pay
  • long service leave entitlements.

Unlike award terms and conditions, National Employment Standards apply to all employees no matter how well paid, how senior or how junior they are. This means that regulated minimum terms of employment apply to a range of senior and other management employees as well as professional, and administrative and technical employees.

A feature of the National Employment Standards is that no employer or employee is lawfully able to contract out of or negotiate around the standards. Agreements can be made that add to or supplement the standards but only if the benefit of the standards is retained.