Right to wages and entitlements
Your right to wages and certain entitlements will usually be determined by a combination of the National Employment Standards, your contract of employment and any award or enterprise agreement that applies to you.
There may be other instruments that affect what you are paid or entitled to, made under legislation before the Fair Work Act 2009 commenced. If you think a different instrument covers your pay and entitlements, you should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94, go to the
Fair Work Ombudsman website or get
National Employment Standards
The National Employment Standards (NES), which come from the Fair Work Act 2009, are a set of minimum entitlements that apply to all national system employees.
Most employees working in NSW are covered by the national system. If you work in the NSW public service, for a local council, or a state owned corporation, you should get
legal advice about your entitlements.
The NES includes entitlements such as:
long service leave
personal carer's leave
- family and domestic violence leave
community service leave
flexible working arrangements
notice of termination
Long service leave is also affected by NSW laws.
For more information about the NES, go to
the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Your award, enterprise agreement or contract of employment also gives you certain rights to wages and entitlements, however they cannot be less than the minimum entitlements in the NES.
An award is a legal document which provides the minimum terms and conditions of employment for all employees who work in a particular industry or profession.
You can find an award that applies to your employment on the
Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Enterprise agreements are agreements between an employer and all employees who work for that employer. An enterprise agreement needs to be approved by the Fair Work Commission.
Enterprise agreements provide information about the terms and conditions of employment and replace any award that may have applied to employees at that workplace.
The minimum wage in an enterprise agreement cannot be less than the minimum wage in the relevant award.
You can search for an enterprise agreement using the
Fair Work Commission website. It can help if you know the name of the agreement or the agreement ID number.
When you agree to work for an employer, the agreement between you and your employer is called a contract of employment.
Your employment contract could be a formal written contract or a letter of offer. Your employment contract could also be made verbally. For example, through conversations you have had with your employer, either face to face or over the telephone.
An employment contract should cover your entitlements and the conditions of your employment. Whether or not the contract is in writing, other details can form part of your contract, such as:
what was said when you were employed
what has happened while you have been employed
what is the normal practice in your industry.
An employment contract cannot exclude terms and conditions in an award or enterprise agreement.
If you are not sure what the terms of your contract of employment are, you should get
It is a good idea to ask your employer to provide you with a written contract when you start a job.