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Law of Employment

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It is always important to formulate rules and regulations that guide employers as well as employees in the work place. This is the reason as to why Australian’s workplace relations system finally came into effect across Australia, with an aim of ensuring that the workplace environment remains productive as well as competitive. The Fair Work Bill received the approval of parliament. On the other hand, there have several changes that have been made to the Act since it was brought into force. The Fair Work Act (FW Act) took effect on the 1st of July 2009 and was intended to replace the existing laws at that time, the Workplace Relations Act of 1996. However, before the act came into effect, two measures had to be fulfilled. But why the Fair Work Act 2009?

The first constitutional basis of the fair Work Act 2009 was to replace the existing tribunals as well as agencies with a new and effective body. This was to be done through the Fair Work Australia (FWA) which was to be referred as the national workplace relations tribunal. Some of its functions were to look into the safety net of the minimum wages and the conditions in which employees find themselves in. It was also to be involved in enterprise bargaining, industrial action, dispute resolution as well as the termination of employment. It was through the Fair Work Australia that a new system of that focussed on regulating industrial relations in Australia was formed.

The second basis of the act featured the national Employment Standards (NES) with the main purpose of illustrating the conditions that all national system employees were to encounter. However, this was to take effect from January 2010. It was also the role of the act to create a system of modern awards with a directive of providing every employee in Australia with an additional safety mechanism. This guaranteed that employees were being subjected to safety conditions and should not have been exposed to any form of danger. The Act was also to feature the provision of making of single or multi-enterprise agreements (EAs) which were to bargain with employee interest at heart.

Other constitutional basis of the Act included having to maintain some of the existing restrictions as far as the industrial action is concerned as well as the provision of a wide access to dismissal complaints that were seen as being unfair to the parties concerned. The Act was also to take into consideration the unlawful treatment of employees while at work and this was to include any form of mistreatment or discrimination in terms of gender, race of social affiliation. Unions that advocate for the rights of the employees were also to be taken into consideration and allowed to play their role as well as allowing employees to retain their status while being transferred from one employer to another.

Changes to the federal employment regulation

There have been changes to the federal employment regulations in Australia that includes the right of an employee to request for flexible working opportunities and arrangements. This has seen parents with children who are disabled and below eighteen years being granted the opportunity to take care of them. The changes also involve the ability of the employee being able to challenge any action by the employer wanting to deny this right. In the event that this happens, then the employee has the right to request the intervention of the fair Work Act. However, these changes were only to take effect if the employer had signed an agreement of being in compliance with the given regulations.

As a result of the changes, the Federal Government had the chance of legislating laws and regulations that assists corporations on the basis of their powers. There are areas that were not previously controlled by the federal government and as a result of the regulation, the states have been limited from this control and given to the Federal Government. Other changes that are reflected through the federal employment regulations increases the number of women who are working in various corporations. Before the changes being incorporated, employees used to work on a full time basis as compared to the new changes which now witnesses employees moving from a permanent full time basis to casual as well as part time jobs.

It is also worth mentioning that employees had not been allowed to change employees at will and they were termed as having jobs for life. However, most employees have now been able to change employers and their given occupations without several restrictions being put forward. The regulatory protection has uplifted the concept of family leave as well as the termination of employment. On the other hand, the Act came into force cancelling the Work Choices that had existed before and as a result, there was the development of industrial relations in Australia. There have also been changes reflecting that employees have some rights and obligations that had earlier not been entitled to them.

The laws are designed to regulate the form of relationship encountered between the employees and employers as reflected in both the common law and the Fair Work Act 2009. This is further reflected in the National Employment Standards that takes into account the basic safety net for most employees. The common law stipulates that the employee is entitled to safety standard condition in the workplace without being subjected to any form of mistreatment and discrimination. It is also important to note that the standards were to be taken into effect as contractual terms and will only be exceptional if they are incorporated into the employment contract. There are ten major provisions that are incorporated by the National Employment Standards (NES).

Employees were entitled to maximum weekly hours at work. This was to be reflected through the employees having to work for thirty eight hours on a weekly basis. On the other hand, if they were to be granted additional hours then they were to be more reasonable and reflect the proper working conditions. The stipulations contained in the fair Work Act 2009 and Australian Common law also dictates employees are entitled for flexible working conditions and arrangements. It is in the guidelines of the laws that an employee has the right for requesting for the time so as to attend to their children who are faced with disabilities (Stewart, 2009). T is obvious that parents are usually entitled to parental leave of up to 12 months. It also features the need to have maternity, paternity and other forms of adoption related leave.

Some other features of the laws include industrial action where there will be limited protection of the industrial action this has been demonstrated by the fact that there have been tremendous failure of the bargaining power. For instance, in several common laws, there are conditions in which the employee is required to abide within in certain regulations. It has been discussed earlier that the national employment standards (NES) involves ten minimum standards which should also be reflected by the various type of employments. There are two kinds of employment that are known in Australia and this includes permanent and casual (Owens et al, 2007). Permanent employees are characterized with full time employment and can work up to thirty five or thirty eight hours on a weekly basis.  

It was also the role of the act to create a system of modern awards with a directive of providing every employee in Australia with an additional safety mechanism. This guaranteed that employees were being subjected to safety conditions and should not have been exposed to any form of danger. The Act was also to feature the provision of making of single or multi-enterprise agreements (EAs) which were to bargain with employee interest at heart. There are areas that were not previously controlled by the federal government and as a result of the regulation, the states have been limited from this control and given to the Federal Government (Professional Groups). Other changes that are reflected through the federal employment regulations increases the number of women who are working in various corporations. Before the changes being incorporated, employees used to work on a full time basis as compared to the new changes which now witnesses employees moving from a permanent full time basis to casual as well as part time jobs.

The case with part time employees involves working less the hours stipulated in working on a full time basis. All employees who are employed on a full time basis have the right of receiving annual leave, sick leave, parental leave all the benefits that come with an employee who is employed. Casual employees on the other hand are not entitled to the same treatment that is accorded to the permanent employees (Stewart, 2009). Casual employees are usually called upon when the employer is in need of additional support in the firm or organization so as to do an urgent job. Unlike permanent employees, casual employees are usually entitled to more compensation and this is usually as a result of them not being entitled to leave benefits. 

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