Last updated 9 August 2016

The 10 National Employment Standards are an integral part of the federal system of industrial relations and relate to:

  • maximum hours of work
  • parental leave
  • flexible working arrangements
  • annual leave entitlements
  • personal, carer’s and compassionate leave entitlements
  • community service leave entitlements
  • public holidays
  • provision of an information statement
  • termination of employment and redundancy
  • long service leave.

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.