• Absenteeism

    The practice of regularly staying away from the workplace without reason. This does not apply to a one-off or involuntary absence that is due to a valid reason such as medical illness, injury or other events which may be excused with proof of leave (i.e. medical certificate or jury notice).

  • Adoption Related Leave

    An unpaid form of parental leave. If one of your employees decides to adopt a child – and has the responsibility for the care of a child – may be entitled to unpaid leave following the adoption.

  • Affirmative Action

    A practice of promoting equal employment and promotional opportunities in the workplace. ‘Affirmative action’ refers to action, such as policies and procedures, which favours those who tend to suffer from discrimination. This usually involves measures to prevent discrimination and prejudice in the workplace and promote under-represented groups of people such as women, the elderly, and disabled employees.

  • Annual Leave

    An entitlement which allows a permanent employee to be paid while having time off from work. The entitlement to annual leave is derived from the National Employment Standards (NES). All employees (except for casual employees) are entitled to paid annual leave.

  • Annual Wage Review

    The Fair Work Commission is required to undertake an annual wage review each financial year. In an annual review, the Fair Work Commission, review modern award minimum wages and the national minimum wage order; makes a national minimum wage order and may make one or more determinations varying modern awards to set, vary or revoke modern award minimum wages.

  • Appeal

    A legal process in which a party seeks to overturn a decision. If an employer or employee is not satisfied with a decision made by a member of the commission, they may choose to appeal it.

    To succeed in an appeal a party must establish that the decision maker made an error (applied an incorrect principle of law) or made a finding of fact or facts that could not be supported by evidence. It is important to note that there is a specific time frame for the appeal process.

  • Applicant

    Refers to an individual, organisation or corporation who has decided to launch into legal action against another person(s). An Applicant may also be known as a ‘plaintiff’ in matters with corporations, admiralty, and in some other courts.

  • Appraisal

    A review held to evaluate and address an employee’s job performance. This especially includes their skills, achievements, and shortcomings and / or any other criteria chosen by the business. Appraisals are often conducted by authorised personnel such as the employer, manager or department head and assess the employee’s performance and behaviour in relation to company standards.

  • Apprenticeships

    An arrangement where an employee combines work and study to earn a qualification. An apprentice must have a formal training contract with the relevant state or territory apprenticeship authority. They are also required to regularly undertake training through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

  • Arbitration

    (In the context of Australian labour law) a process of settling dispute between two parties with the help of a tribunal. Arbitration offers a flexible and efficient alternative to attending court for resolving, for example, labour disputes such as conditions of employment, wages, hours of work and entitlements.

  • Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC):

    Was a tribunal with powers under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (and equivalent earlier legislation) that existed form 1956. The AIRC made Awards, certified Enterprise Agreements, registered trade unions and dealt with unfair dismissal applications.

    In January 2010, the functions of the AIRC were transferred to a division within Fair Work Australia (now Fair Work Commission), and the AIRC was abolished.

  • Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA)

    Formalised written agreement between an employer and an employee, stipulating employment conditions like salary, work hours, and other factors that relate to employment that existed prior to the Fair Work Act 2009.

    Following the Fair Work Act 2009, there is no longer provision to make new individual employee agreements. However, existing AWAs are still valid.

  • Awards

    Legal documents that outline the minimum rate of pay and conditions of employment. There are specific Awards (also known as Modern Awards) tailored to respective industries and occupations. If an employee does not fall within any modern award, employers are to refer to the National Employment Standards (NES).

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