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The Queensland Employment Standards are a set of minimum employment conditions legislatively guaranteed for employees in the state industrial relations system. Defined within the Industrial Relations Act 2016, they provide a safety net of minimum terms and conditions of employment that should be included in your staff contract. These standards apply to you if you work for a Queensland Local or State Government, or a Queensland Statutory agency (such as QLD Health, QLD Police Service or Electoral Commission QLD).
The standards include:
- The Queensland minimum wage.
- A maximum standard working week of 38 hours, plus ‘reasonable’ additional hours.
- A right to request flexible working arrangements.
- Four weeks paid annual leave each year, plus 17.5% annual leave loading, pro-rata based on your ordinary hours of work.
- Ten days paid sick / carers leave per year; two days paid compassionate or bereavement leave for each permissible occasion; and five days unpaid cultural leave per year.
- Ten days paid domestic and family violence leave per year.
- Parental / Adoption leave (unpaid) – up to 52 weeks with a right to request a further 52 weeks.
- Long service leave.
- Public holidays and the entitlement to be paid for ordinary hours.
- Emergency service leave.
- Jury service leave.
- Notice of termination and redundancy provisions.
- A requirement to give new employees an information statement.
Generally, pro-rata arrangements apply to paid leave entitlements under the Queensland Employment Standards for employees, other than casual employees, working less than full-time. The Industrial Relations Act 2016 also distinguishes between long term and other casual employees. Generally casual employees are not entitled to paid leave, however, a casual employee may have an entitlement to unpaid carer’s leave, bereavement and compassionate leave, cultural leave and domestic and family violence leave. A long term casual employee also has an entitlement to long service leave.
In addition to the QES you may be covered by an industrial instrument, such as a modern award or certified agreement, that also contains important terms and conditions of your employment and staff contract.
Employees within the national workplace relations system are covered by the National Employment Standards (NES) and national minimum wage, set out by the Fair Work Act 2009.