Employee entitlements and awards

All private sector employers in Queensland are covered by the Fair Work national workplace relations system. As an employer, you must provide your employees with the minimum entitlements under this system, or you could face penalties.

The Fair Work system outlines a set of minimum National Employment Standards, modern awards, a national minimum wage, and unfair dismissal laws.

National Employment Standards (NES)

The NES are set out in the Fair Work Act 2009. All Australian workers covered by the NES are provided these 10 minimum entitlements:

  • maximum weekly hours of work
  • flexible working arrangements
  • parental leave and related entitlements
  • annual leave
  • personal and 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, which includes information about NES, pay details, termination of employment and leave.


Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for information, tools and resources related to paying your employees, including:

  • minimum wage
  • pay rates and conditions
  • pay slips
  • penalty rates
  • overtime
  • allowances.


Most workplaces in Australia are now covered by modern awards, outlined in the Fair Work system. Modern awards are industry or occupation-based employment standards that work in conjunction with the NES to ensure all employees in Australia who work in similar industries or occupations are given the same minimum entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman website provides detailed information on modern awards and tools to help you work out what awards your employees are covered by.

Conditions of employment

The Fair Work Ombudsman website outlines the NES minimum conditions of employment regarding:


Your employees have certain leave entitlements under the NES that are detailed on the Fair Work Ombudsman website. These entitlements cover:

  • public holidays
  • annual leave
  • sick leave
  • leave accrual
  • personal, carer's and compassionate leave
  • parental leave
  • long service leave
  • community service leave.

Paid parental leave

The Australian Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme provides financial support for new parents while they're off work caring for a newborn or recently adopted child. It does not change existing leave entitlements under the NES or give employees a new entitlement to leave.

You may be required to provide government-funded Parental Leave Pay to an employee. Find out more about what the Paid Parental Leave scheme means for you on the Department of Human Services website.

Ending employment

The NES outlines the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees regarding termination of employment on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

If you decide to dismiss an employee, you need to be aware of your legal obligations and make sure the dismissal is not unfair or unlawful.

The Fair Work Ombudsman website provides information on:

  • termination of employment
  • unfair dismissal
  • unlawful termination
  • redundancy
  • the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code
  • notice periods
  • final pay.

Fair Work institutions

Fair Work Commission

Fair Work Commission is the national workplace relations tribunal. It is an independent body that deals with a range of issues including unfair dismissal, industrial action, workplace disputes and minimum conditions of employment.

Fair Work Ombudsman

The Fair Work Ombudsman monitors compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009,and provides support for employers, employees, contractors, other workers and the community about the NES and other employment issues.

Fair Work Divisions of the Court

Special divisions of the court have been developed to hear workplace-related law matters.

Related links

Last reviewed
January 16, 2014


General enquiries 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

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