New Minimum Employment Standards

Beginning 1 January 2010, there will be a series of new minimum employment standards in place in Australia that will affect all business under the IR federal regulations.

Here’s a brief look at the items that will be covered in the new regulations.

  1. 38-Hour Work Week
    A standard workweek will be defined as 38 hours, and all workers may be required to work this amount of time. Additionally, extra hours may be added to their work schedule providing they are “reasonable additional hours”.
  2. Parental Leave
    Under the new regulations new mothers or partners may ask for up to one year of unpaid leave in order to raise their new child.
  3. Personal Leave, Caregiver Leave, Compassionate Leave
    Workers can ask for 10 days personal or caregiver leave and up to two days in compassionate leave.
  4. Flexible Work Schedule 
    Workers who have been at a job for over a year are given the right to ask their employer for a more flexible schedule to suit their needs. Employers are expected to be accommodating, yet could deny the requests if there are fair business grounds for the denial.
  5. Public Holidays
    Whether or not employees will work on public holidays, and the compensation they will receive, will be something to be worked into a contract upon hiring.
  6. Community Service Leave 
    Nationwide it will become necessary for employers to pay employees who are called to jury duty or who need to leave their job to work for emergency services. The employer will be required to pay the employee for a period of 10 days as they serve these community services.

While there are other items in the list of regulations that will take effect in 2010, many of the others are much the same as the current labor laws.

So, what does all this mean? For employees, that you can expect a few more rights on the job. For employers, now is the time to consider how you will deal with these leave request circumstances when they arise.

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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