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Employment Law

Employers are legally obligated to comply with all aspects of Australian employment law. This means that they are to ensure that their employees can work comfortably in a safe and secure environment, which should be free of bullying, discrimination, and harassment.

Compliance with employment law is good business practice. It can increase your professional image, attract high-quality talent, and increases retention rates.

Different states may have tailored workplace regulations. It is necessary to know these distinctions and learn which workplace laws apply to your business.

The Importance of Legislation in the Workplace

Some legislation applies to all national system employers all over Australia regardless of territory, states, business models or industry.

The objective of these legislations is to place responsibility on the employer and to make sure that their employees are treated fairly. Employers should also make sure that their employees are receiving the minimum employment rights and entitlements, including the following:

  • Minimum pay
  • Leave entitlements
  • Redundancy
  • Notice periods, and more.

Types of Legislation

Here are some examples of some of the important workplace legislation:

Fair Work Act 2009

This act aims to establish national workplace standards between an employer and an employee. It provides a safety net of minimum entitlements through the national minimum wage, Modern Awards, and the National Employment Standards. The Fair Work Act 2009 also allows for flexible working arrangements, protection from unfair dismissal, and ensures all employees are treated fairly and protected from discrimination.

There are a few exemptions to this legislation. For instance, the following types of business would not be covered by the Fair Work Actin Western Australia:

  • Sole traders
  • Partnerships
  • Other unincorporated entities
  • Non-trading corporations

State and Federal anti-discrimination laws

Many acts aim to protect people from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. People should not be subjected to race, sex, disability and age discrimination under any circumstances. The Australian Human Rights Commission governs this. On top of the Federal laws, each state and territory have their own anti-discrimination and harassment legislation that protects employees in the workplace.

Work Health and Safety Act 2011

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 provides a framework to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all employees at work. Aside from that, it also protects other people who may be affected by the work. This includes customers, visitors, and the general public.

Disability Discrimination Act 1992

The Disability Discrimination Act is created to protect employees from discrimination based on their disability. This act makes it illegal to treat an employee less fairly due to their disability.

This act also protects employees who have relatives, friends, co-workers, or are associates of a person with a disability. The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 does not only cover physical disability, but it also acknowledges mental, sensory, neurological, and psychiatric disorders as well.

This act makes the employers responsible in making sure that there will be no discrimination against candidates and new hires based on their disability and that the employer must accommodate a disabled employee within a reasonable capacity.