Understanding the Basics of Employment Law

  • March 18, 2024
  • 6 min read
Understanding the Basics of Employment Law

Employment is a basic need of every adult for them to live a better life. Having a job means security, being able to pay the bills, being able to enjoy yourself, and overall being happier because you are doing something with your life. However, there are laws that everybody should know about, depending on where you live, you should do some research to see what they look like in your country, state, or region. The same goes with employment law that needs to be in your mind so that you would know what you can do, and what your rights are in this manner. Follow this article so you would have a better understanding of the basics of employment law.

How can you understand employment law better?

The answer to this question is fairly easy: you read about it and consult experts on the subject. This is very important for you because you will know what bosses can or cannot do with you, as well as what your restrictions and rights are as an employer, and what you can do once they are violated.

Of course, the best way to be sure you are always updated is to have an employment lawyer based in your area. If you are living in Queensland, Australia you should find employment lawyers based in Gold Coast because they will know the law of the state and they will be your best friends in court. Having a professional by your side is very important, especially if you are not quite familiar with the subject, and when it comes to bureaucracy, you usually aren’t. Here are the basics so that you would understand the employment law better.

Legislation is significant in the workplace

There is legislation that is the same for every national system employer in Australia – or to simplify, to most of the employers in this country. What does not matter here is the states, territory, industry, or business model.

The main goal of this legislation is to give responsibility to employers that should make sure that every employee is treated in the same way and fair. This should also ensure that everybody receives the minimum employment rights and what they are entitled to in their respective industries and in the job they are doing in that industry. These include leaving entitlements, at least minimum wage, periods of notice for contract termination, redundancy, and other rights that come under this legislation.

There is some workplace relations legislation that is crucial for the directing of industrial relations, as well as employment relationships in Australia. This is a list of some of these important laws:

  • State and Federal anti-discrimination laws
  • The 2009 Fair Work Act
  • Work Health and Safety Standards (WHS)
  • The 1988 Privacy Act
  • The National Employment Standards (NES)

What should you know about legislation?

Now that you know the basic legislations, it is only fair that you learn a little about them. Here is what you should know about certain legislation listed above.

1. The State and Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

Australia has multiple acts which were brought upon to help protect people from harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and first of all the employment process. There is legislation at a Federal level that has the purpose to protect people of different disabilities, ages, sex, and race from any kind of discrimination. The Australian Human Rights Commission governs this legislation.

2. Fair Work Act 2009

The goal here is to establish what kind of relationship employers should have with employees. It guarantees minimum entitlements like minimum wage, employment conditions, and entitlements. It gives space for a bit more flexible working arrangement and provides protection from unfair dismissals ensuring everyone is treated fairly. It created bodies that monitor if everything is up to code in this regard. Some business in Western Australia are not covered by this act:

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

3. The 2011 Work Health and Safety Act

This is something that has to be implemented by the entire commonwealth for every state and territory and only then becomes legally binding. This act is actually the framework for certain protections like safety, health, risk control, reporting incidents, and worker consulting. This act is enforced with penalties and fines for those who do not abide by it. This covers a range of obligations towards the employee and regarding security, comfort, and safety.

Employee rights

When you are an employer, what you must expect from your employees is to do everything their job requires at a reasonable standard, they have to follow reasonable directions given by management, they must respect the contract they have signed as well as the policies and procedures the company has made about the workplace. What you also have is a large number of obligations towards the people you hired and they go under the Fair Work Act, among other industrial relations legislation. The following are the most crucial responsibilities you have towards your employees:

  • meet the requirements for first aid
  • make the work environment safe
  • keep records of everything
  • employees must be given necessary training before they start working, as well as resources and mentoring so they could work safely and be efficient at their job
  • pay them fairly and respect what they are entitled to
  • protect them from being harassed (sexually or otherwise), bullied, or discriminated
  • you must inform them about the rights and the responsibilities they have
  • report any incident that occurred at your workplace to Safe Work Australia
  • train your staff so they would know about the potential risks and what are the hazards at the workplace they came to
  • give them protective clothing and working equipment, and also make sure they know how to put them on and use the tools correctly
Employee rights

You should also have a workplace relations specialist who will always keep you up to date about these things. They will inform you what your rights are at the moment and notify you once any changes to legislation occur that could be applied to your company.

There, now you know the basics of employment law in Australia. You should know this both as an employer to know your obligation, and an employee to know your rights. Many laws are protecting you and you must respect them and abide by them so that they could help you have a healthier work environment. Stay safe and stay fair to the workers.

About Author

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is an expert web content writer and freelancer who is an expert in writing engaging articles in Business, General, Social Media, Tech, and Marketing categories. He has been serving our website for a few years. Andrew is a family man. When he isn’t writing, he loves to cook for his kids and spend time with them.

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