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Sole Traders – Partnerships – Workplace Relations – National System

Sole traders to come under the federal system

Effective from 1 January 2010, sole traders partnerships and other unincorporated entities and non-trading corporations in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania will come under the national workplace relations system.  Previously, these entities were governed by state specific legislation.

Employers in ACT, NT and Victoria will continue to operate under the national system, as will incorporated Pty Ltd businesses.

Various transitional arrangements are in place to facilitate a smooth changeover for those states (New South Wales, Queensland South Australia and Tasmania) that will now join the federal system.

State specific legislation still applicable to sole traders

It is important to be aware that businesses must still adhere to certain state specific legislation.  This legislation includes (but is not limited to) legislation relating to:-

  • Anti-discrimination;
  • Superannuation;
  • Workers compensation;
  • Occupational health and safety;
  • Business trading hours;
  • Long service leave; and
  • Child labour.

The National Employment Standards

All employers under the federal Fair Work System must adhere to the 10 National Employments Standards.  These standards set out various minimum standards relating to hours of work, employee entitlements, leave, parental leave and the right for parents and carers to request flexible working arrangements.

Issuing new employees with a Fair Work Information Statement

The National Employment Standards also require employers to provide all new employees with a Fair Work Information Statement.  The Statement provides the employee with an overview of the 10 standards, modern awards and other relevant matters. For your convenience this freely available document is included in all RP Emery employment agreements.

Modern Awards

The National Employments Standards and Modern Awards work hand in hand and should be read together.  The Modern Award that applies to your staff member may better the minimum entitlements set out in the National Employment Standards.

You should familiarise yourself with the Modern Awards which apply to your staff members and with the National Employment Standards to which you must adhere.

You can search and download Modern Awards at the Fair Work Australia website