The National Employment Standards (NES) are 10 minimum employment entitlements that have to be provided to all employees.

The national minimum wage and 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 can’t exclude the NES.

The 10 minimum entitlements of the NES are:

Who’s covered by the NES

All employees in the national workplace relations system are covered by the NES regardless of the award, registered agreement or employment contract that applies.

Casual employees and the NES

Casual employees only get NES entitlements relating to:

  • unpaid carer’s leave
  • unpaid compassionate leave
  • community service leave
  • the Fair Work Information Statement.

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

Where there is an expectation of ongoing work for a casual and the casual has been employed regularly and systematically for at least 12 months, they have extra entitlements from the NES.

These are:

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

Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) section 61 external-icon.png