General Employment Questions

Termination of Employment

1. Is it just the Employer who has to give notice?

No both the employee and the employer have to give notice if they wish to terminate the employment.

2. I am a casual employee, do I get a notice period?

No, as a casual employee there is no requirement for a notice period.

3. What if I don’t give the correct notice?

An employer can withhold monies owed to you such as your wages or leave so that it equals what would have been your correct notice period.

4. What is the usual notice period for termination?

The NES minimum standard is 1 week for less than 1 year all the way up to 4 weeks for over 5 years. However it is worth checking your employment agreement as a different period may be specified in that. An employee who is over 45 years of age and has worked for at least 2 years at the company is entitled to an extra weeks notice.

5. Can I ask for annual leave during a notice period?

Yes, but your employer must agree to the leave.

6. What does “paid in lieu” mean ?

This means an employer may decide to pay you for your notice period rather than having you work for that time.

7. What should be in my final pay?

Your regular wages, any annual leave not taken and any long service leave entitlements.

8. What does redundancy mean?

This is termination based on the role that was being performed no longer being required by the employer.

9. What does terminated for serious misconduct mean?

There is no specific answer but it is any behaviour considered unacceptable and inconsistent with the expected standards of behaviour of the employer.

Performance Management

1. What does Performance Management mean?

Performance Management is about all employees having a clear understanding of the required standard of work expected from them. It also provides employees with opportunities to improve.

2. When should I expect a Performance Review to happen?

Performance reviews should happen at least once a year, however each company is different.

3. What is discussed in a performance meeting?

How an employee is tracking against their existing tasks and targets. If the employee is considered to be under-performing the discussion becomes about why that is the case and what can be done to help improve performance.

4. What preparation should I do for a performance meeting?

You should ask your manager what they need you to bring, and also bring a pen & paper.

5. What happens if my performance is considered to be poor?

Your manager will chat to you about why this has happened and work with you to develop ways for you to improve.


1. Do I need a first aid kit?

Yes. Every workplace should have a first aid kit.

1. What does OHS stand for?

It stands for Occupational Health & Safety.

2. What does OHS mean?

It ensures your employer will do everything practicable to provide a safe working environment. It also means you as an employee will do everything you can to work in a safe fashion and ensure your total workplace is safe.

2. What signs do I have to put in my office or factory?

– The “Are You Injured at Work” poster (a copy is available from the HR Central documents page). – A clear evacuation plan. – The location of the first aid kit.

3. As an Employee, how am I responsible?

You are required to read and follow all OHS policies and procedures. You should also be aware of safe work practices and report anything that you see that does not match your OHS policies.

4. Is manual handling part of OHS?

Yes, manual handling will be covered in your OHS policies and safe handling procedures.

5. What happens if you don’t follow the OHS procedures?

You are likely to be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

6. What should I do if I see something I think is unsafe?

You should report it immediately to your manager or OHS representative. You may be required to lodge an incident report.

Employee Relations

1. Can I fine employees who arrive late for work?

No – if an employee is late and doesn’t have a valid reason, you should progress down the disciplinary path of written warnings.

2. How can I terminate an employee?

In order to terminate an employee in a fair and just manner you need to have satisfied a number of criteria, including having a valid reason and giving the employee a warning and/or following the correct procedural path. What might seem straightforward to you, is not necessarily straightforward as it relates to workplace relations rules. You should contact HR Central before terminating an employee to ensure you have all the correct steps in place.

3. What is constructive dismissal?

A constructive dismissal is when you compel or coerce an employee into resigning. So while it might look like you have a written or verbal resignation, the employee is able to argue that you forced them in some way to resign (in many cases to avoid having to terminate them). This kind of dismissal ends up having the same effect as a termination if it is found to be true.

4. What is the difference between an employee and a contractor?

There are many different checklists and tests used to determine if a person is an employee or a contractor. As such you should check with HR Central if in doubt, as each circumstance could be quite unique and different. One description of the difference is: a contractor is used to provide goods and services for a set fee based on the work, whilst an employee is hired and receives a wage regardless of actual work performed. When you hire people as employees, they: – receive payment as wages or salary – have their tax taken out by their employer – are based at your business, work at your home or are mobile – can be full-time, part-time, apprentices, trainees or casual, and can be directed when, what and how to do a task. A contractor or independent contractor usually: – doesn’t receive wages but will invoice for their work – runs their own businesses with an Australian Business Number (ABN) – has their own insurance – does a set task, such as designing a computer system and once the task is done, the engagement ends – can work for more than one customer – can subcontract their work to others – provides their own equipment or works from their own base.

5. Can an employer send an employee home without pay if it is quiet?

If you are a full-time or a part-time employee your employer cannot send you home without pay because it’s quiet. If you are a casual employee, your employer can send you home as long as you have completed the minimum number of hours as defined under your award or agreement (as an example your award may state that you need to work for a minimum of three hours per engagement).

6. As an employer, can I pay my workers above the modern award wage?

Yes – a modern award provides the minimum wage that a worker can be paid either on a full-time, part-time or a casual basis. As an employer, the wage that is paid to a worker can be no lower than that specified in the appropriate modern award. However, an employer can certainly choose to pay above the award wage. Employers must be aware that the modern award entitlements may still apply.

7. What should I do in the event of a visit by a Union organizer or official?

Please contact your manager immediately – if you are unable to contact them, please contact HR Central for immediate assistance.

8. Do I have to let them on my premises?

Subject to the reason for their visit and the relevant award or agreement, you may have to provide access. However, please contact HR Central for advice on whether they have a legitimate reason to come on site and if so, where they are allowed on the premises.

9. Is an employer obliged to give a job description to the employee?

A job description, also known as a position description or role statement, is a statement that explains a job. Although not required, writing a job description, and giving a copy to the employee, will help clarify the skills and traits you need the new employee to have. A job description should include: – job title and location – duties, responsibilities and tasks – what you need the person to do, who they are in charge of and who they report to – any required skills, qualifications, licenses and experience – any other requirements – such as travel or physical demands – your expectations – such as sales or production targets -whether the position is full-time, part-time or casual and whether it is an ongoing or ‘fixed term contract’ (meaning the position will only last for a limited time, eg. 6 months).

Code of Conduct

1. What does the Code of Conduct mean?

This is the overall standard of behaviour your employer wants you to follow.

2. Is the Code of Conduct just for managers?

No, the code of conduct applies to all employees.

3. When does the Code of Conduct apply to me?

It applies to how you behave and interact with employees, suppliers and customers.

4. Do all companies have a Code of Conduct?

It is common for companies to put a Code of Conduct in place, but it is not compulsory.

5. Does the Code of Conduct apply to company events?

Yes. The standard of behaviour expected during work is the same standard expected at a work function.

6. What should I do if I think a fellow employee is not following the Code of Conduct?

You should raise this with your manager as soon possible.

7. What are the repercussions if an employee doesn’t follow the code?

If an employee is found to have breached the code of conduct they will be subject to disciplinary action, which may lead to termination.

National Employment Standards

1. What are the National Employment Standards (NES)?

The National Employment Standards make up the 10 minimum employment standards which have to be provided by all employers.

2. Who made them up?

The Fair Work Act and the NES were created in 2009 by the Federal Government.

3. Do the NES apply to every employee?

Yes, all employees are covered by the NES.

4. Do the NES apply to casual employees?

Yes, although some of the standards apply in a different way. For example, casual employees are not eligible for paid annual leave.

5. Should I have a copy as an employee?

It is not compulsory for every employee to have a copy of the NES but we have provided all HR Central clients with one.

6. Where can I get a copy of the NES?

The NES can be found in the Resources section of HR Central.

7. How will I know if they change?

HR Central will notify you directly of any changes to the NES.

8. What if I don’t understand the NES?

Speak to your HR Manager.

Pay Slips

1. How are pay slips given to employees?

Pay slips have to be in either electronic form or hard copy. Electronic pay slips must have the same information as paper pay slips.

2. What has to be on a pay slip?

Pay slips have to cover details of an employee’s pay for each pay period. Below is a list of what to include: – employer’s and employee’s name – employer’s Australian Business Number (if applicable) – pay period – date of payment – gross and net pay If the employee is paid an hourly rate: – the ordinary hourly rate – the number of hours worked at that rate – the total dollar amount of pay at that rate – any loadings, allowances, bonuses, incentive-based payments, penalty rates or other paid entitlements that can be separated out from an employee’s ordinary hourly rate – the pay rate that applied on the last day of employment – any deductions from the employee’s pay, including: * the amount and details of each deduction * the name, or name and number of the fund / account the deduction was paid into Any superannuation contributions paid for the employee’s benefit, including: – the amount of contributions made during the pay period (or the amount of contributions that need to be made) – the name and / or number of the superannuation fund the contributions were made to.

3. When should pay slips be given?

Pay slips have to be given to an employee within 1 working day of pay day, even if an employee is on leave.

4. Why do we need pay slips?

Pay slips ensure employees receive the correct pay and entitlements and allow employers to keep accurate and complete records.

Internet, Email & Social Media Policies

1. What are these policies for?

These policies are in place to ensure all employees are aware of their rights and reponsibilities when using the Internet, email and social media. Each company has it’s own definition of what is appropriate in terms of language, comments and usage.

2. Can emails be considered sexual harrassment or bullying?

Yes. If you make inappropriate remarks or comments or send offensive material to an employee, customer or supplier, it can be deemed harassment or bullying.

3. Can I use my own smart phone at work to check the news during the day?

During work hours when you are working, you should only be doing work related activity. Doing anything not work related can lead to possible performance management issues. So you should only use your smart phone when you are not working on company business.

4. Can I use my work email address to send personal emails?

No. Your work email should only be used for business purposes.

5. Can I use the internet at work for personal use?

No, your internet access at work should only be used for business purposes.

6. Can my employer check my Internet use at work?

Your employer does have the right to monitor email and internet use.

7. If I post something about my job on Facebook, can it affect my job?

Anything you post on social media that references your workplace, employer or colleagues can have an effect on your job. It is recommended that you don’t post anything of that nature.

8. What should I do if I am unsure about something I am sending?

If you have any doubts, check with your manager to make sure it doesn’t breach this or another policy.

General ER Questions

1. If I am not sure what I am getting paid, what should I do?

Review your payslip, or approach your manager or payroll department.

2. If I get a speeding fine in a work car, who pays?

The driver of the vehicle is responsible to pay for any fines or tickets.

3. If I lose my license and have to drive a car for work , can I lose my job?

Possibly. If a drivers license is an inherent part of the job there may be no other alternative for your employer than to terminate your employment.

4. Should I be receiving payslips?

Yes. All employees should be receiving payslips.


1. When can you not deduct money from an employee?

An employer cannot deduct money for something like a broken plate or a short till. Any deduction must benefit the employer directly or indirectly and be reasonable in the circumstances. There is also the additional consideration if the employee is under 18 years of age and their parent or guardian hasn’t agreed in writing.