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Employment law in Australia is the body of law that governs the relationship between employers and employees. It sets out the rights and obligations of both parties, as well as the procedures for resolving disputes. Employment law includes several key areas including:
Minimum Wages & Conditions
The Fair Work Act 2009 (“the FWA”) sets out minimum wages and conditions for most employees in Australia, including minimum hourly rates, maximum hours of work and leave entitlements.
Employees who are dismissed from their job may be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal under the FWA. Employers must follow certain procedures when terminating an employee to avoid liability.
Discrimination & Harrassment
Employers are required to provide a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. This includes protection against discrimination on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics.
Work Health and Safety
Both employers and employees have a responsibility to ensure that the workplace is free from hazards. Laws such as the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (“the WHS Act”) set out the obligations of employers and employees in this regard.
This covers the relationship between employers, employees and trade unions. The Fair Work Commission is responsible for regulating industrial relations in Australia.
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There are a number of other areas of law that share a close connection with employment law, such as privacy, taxation and superannuation. As such, it is important for both employers and employees to have a firm understanding of their rights and obligations under employment law.