National Employment Standards

National Employment Standards

The National Employment Standards (NES) are 10 minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees. Together with the National Minimum Wage, the NES make up the minimum entitlements for employees in Australia.

An award, employment contract, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement can't provide for conditions that are less than the national minimum wage or the NES. They also can’t exclude the NES.

  • A maximum standard working week of 38 hours for full-time employees, plus ‘reasonable’ additional hours
  • A right to request flexible working arrangements
  • Unpaid parental and adoption leave
  • Paid annual leave each year
  • Paid personal carer’s leave, paid compassionate leave, and unpaid carer’s leave
  • Community service leave for jury service or activities dealing with certain emergencies or natural disasters. This leave is unpaid except for jury service.
  • Long service leave
  • Public holidays and the entitlement to be paid for ordinary hours on those days
  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay
  • The right for new employees to receive the Fair Work Information Statement

Different types of employment

Different types of employees have different NES and leave entitlements. Click or tap on your type of employment to see specific information relevant to you.

Casual Employees

Casuals have no guaranteed hours of work. They usually work irregular hours.

Part-time employees

Part-timers work, on average, less than 38 hours per week. They usually work regular hours each week

Full-time employees

Full-timers work, on average, around 38 hours each week. They usually work regular hours each week

Apprentices & Trainees

Apprentices work as part of a VET/TAFE course, or industry training.

Casual employees

You'll only get some of the NES entitlements, such as:

  • 2 days unpaid carer's leave
  • 2 days unpaid compassionate leave
  • unpaid community service leave
  • receiving the Fair Work Information Statement

In some states and territories long serving casuals are eligible for long service leave.

You are entitled to a higher hourly pay rate than equivalent full- or part-time employees. This is called a 'casual loading'. This is paid because you don't get benefits such as sick or annual leave

Your employment can be terminated without warning, unless if warning is required as part of any award, registered agreement or contract.

Where there is an expectation of ongoing work for you, and you've been employed regularly and systematically for at least 12 months, you have extra entitlements.

These are:

  • the right to request for flexible working arrangements
  • access to parental leave.

Part-time employees

You are entitled to the same NES benefits as a full-time employee. However, it’s based proportionally on how long you’ll be working in a week. This is compared to the full 38 hours a full-time employee works.

Full-time employees

Full-time employees benefit fully from the NES, with:

  • 4 weeks paid annual leave
  • 10 days paid personal carer's leave
  • 12 months unpaid parental leave, with the option to request an additional 12 months
  • 2 days paid compassionate leave for each permissible occassion
  • 2 days unpaid carere's leave for each permissible occassion

These leave benefits are provided to you every year. However, annual and personal carer's leave can vary depending on how long you've worked for a business.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or a trainee, you’ll get the same NES entitlements as part- and full-time employees. However, these entitlements can vary based on your award or registered agreement, so check your employment papers for information on this.


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  • National Employment Standards
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Malaysian Progressives in Australia (MPOZ) is a movement of young Malaysians in Australia who strive for open dialogue of political reform in Malaysia