It's no surprise that wages and employment conditions are often one of the first things a potential employee will consider about a job. They are also an effective way to reward employees according to their skills and experience. That's why you need to understand your obligations as an employer to uphold the entitlements of your staff.
Entitlements and pay
Entitlements for work conditions in many jobs are governed by the national workplace relations system, which includes modern awards and the National Employment Standards (NES). Employees covered by the national workplace relations system are also entitled to leave provisions as set out in the NES.
Most WA sole traders and partnerships fall under the WA industrial relations system. If you're in the WA system, the NES and national awards don't apply to you. You should refer to WA pay rates and WA hours of work, overtime and penalty rates.
The NES contains 10 minimum entitlements for employees, although not all of these apply to casual workers. The entitlements include:
- maximum weekly hours of work
- requests for flexible working arrangements
- parental leave and related entitlements
- annual leave
- personal/carer's leave and compassionate leave
- community service leave
- long service leave
- public holidays
- notice of termination and redundancy pay
- provision of a Fair Work Information Statement.
You may also have the option of setting out wages and conditions of employment in an enterprise agreement or written contract of employment if your employees are not covered by an award. This will act to protect your business and your employees' entitlements.
Most workers are paid for public holidays, except for contract workers and casual employees who are paid only for hours worked. For most workers (except those previously mentioned), other paid leave should include annual or recreation leave, sick leave and long service leave.
If a modern award or agreement applies to your employees, there may be additional leave and pay arrangement entitlements for staff on public holidays.
Find out more about ensuring you are paying employees the right amount. For more information about minimum rates of pay and other conditions under this system, view the pay page on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
You will also need to be aware of your superannuation obligations to your employees. Read the superannuation page for more information on superannuation and your employees.
Employee health and safety
A safe and healthy workforce is an asset to any business and can help attract quality staff and maximise productivity. To ensure that you're creating a happy and healthy work environment, it's important to consider your rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety in the workplace. Knowing and understanding the Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws will also help you avoid unnecessary costs and damage to your business caused by workplace injury and illness.
The article was first published on business.gov.au