Before we get started, we should know what the Fair Work Act is. The Fair Work Act was implemented first in 2009 and is the act responsible for governing workplace practices that happen throughout Australia. This act sets the benchmark standards and regulations for employment in Australia and, as such, all employers regardless of the size and type of business should know well. This helps to protect the rights of the employees working in many different businesses and fields in Australia.
What does the Fair Work Act of 2009 Entail?
There are employee and employer rules and regulations that must be adhered to when in Australia. These are given in the Fair Work Act of 2009 and are given the name National Workplace Relations System.
These rules govern fruitful workplace relations to maintain the decorum of the workplace and ensure that none of the rights of both parties are compromised. It helps to foster relations that help everyone feel more socially involved and increases economic prosperity by offering greater motivation and increased productivity.
These laws are in place for the benefit of the Australian Workers at large and the act itself encompasses but isn’t limited to the following:
- Shows what rights and responsibilities of employees, employers, and the organization has in relation to the employment
- Makes sure that there are reasonable measures to enforce and help comply with the act.
- Establishing the Fair Work Commission and Ombudsman to administer the act
- Sets the terms and conditions of employment.
If you ever feel that your rights as an employee are being infringed in any way by your employer, just know that you can get help on fair work compliance and remove the obstruction to fair treatment. Let’s take an example of the restaurant industry award that was recently changed with the changes taking effect from the start of this year (the first full pay period).
Restaurant Industry Award was Recently Changed by the Fair Work Commission
The changes being incorporated in the restaurant industry award involve rostering part-time employees more flexible and the overtime penalties for casual employees.
When the part-time employee and employer have to agree on the number of hours in writing on a per week or per roster cycle basis. The part-time employee should be available for completing those set hours. The part-time employer should make sure that they give the part-time employee two days off. The number of hours that must be worked, fall in the range of between 3 and 11.5 hours per day.
Other than that, if the employer wants to change the number of hours, they have to get the permission of the part-time employee. For changes in guaranteed hours, the part-time employee can request it but will have to show that they worked more than the guaranteed hours over the past 12 months regularly.
Only after a 14-day notice period (written notice presented to the employer) can the availability be changed. This is possible only if there is a genuine change in the employee circumstances and is ongoing.
As for overtime penalties, working an excess 12 hours a day or 38 hours a week constitutes overtime payment. The rate of overtime has to be the same as a full-time employee.