Australia Employment Act

Australia Employment Act and Labour Law

The Australian federal legislation for employment and workplace regulations are governed through The Fair Work Act (2009) which Australian employers are required to uphold to ensure the employees' rights are well respected regarding working hours, overtime, rest days, leave entitlement and more.

Modern Awards
Implemented since the 1st of January, 2010. The Modern Awards are applied by law in over 122 industries and numerous occupations (or a combination of both) that comprise the majority of the workforce in Australia. This award will cover entitlements in several aspects such as:

• Pay
• Hours of work
• Rosters
• Break
• Allowances
• Penalty rates
• Overtime
 Working Hours
Employees are not required to work without a reasonable request outside of the 38 weekly work hours.

Any hours of leave or absence regardless if paid or unpaid, are to be treated as part of the hours of work in a week as long the leaves are within the authorisation of:
i) The Employer
ii) The Employees’ term of employment
iii) Government Authority such as Commonwealth, State or Territory Law
Working Time (Spread of Hours)
The maximum limit and range for overtime are to be determined based on the industries that are covered by Modern Awards. To find out the terms for the industry's additional work hours, you may refer to the information provided by Australia Fair Work Ombudsman here.

Some awards reward the employee by allowing them to take paid time off instead of overtime pay too.

Averaging The Hours of Work Under An Award Or Agreement
The average working hours may stretch over a specific period greater than a week given that the provisions are included within an award, agreement or within a reasonable request.

A full-time employee that would ordinarily work 152 hours over four weeks (average of 38 hours per week), may choose to span out lesser or more towards other weeks over those four weeks.

Averaging Work Hours Sample

Total 4 weeks with a total of 152 work hours (Average to 38 work hours per week).

Do note that the arrangement for averaging out the work hours should also be determined within reason as well as other factors such as family responsibilities, health, safety and relevance of the work hours. The employee also has the right to refuse any averaging work hours arrangement, likewise, employers are not allowed to force the averaging arrangement upon employees unlawfully.
Averaging The Hours of Work for Employees without Award/Agreement
Employees that are free from the award or agreement may choose to accept the arrangement in writing to average out their ordinary hours of work.

Maximum Averaging Period: 26 weeks

Keep in mind that the maximum work hours still apply: 

Flexible Working Arrangement
An employee has the right to request their employer for a flexible work arrangement for any reasons such as:
i) A parent or a carer(Carer Recognition Act 2010) having the responsibility to take care of a child who is of school age or younger
ii) Disability
iii) Age of 55 or older
iv) Experiencing family violence
v) Providing support and care for an immediate family or household experiencing family violence.

An employee may also request to return to work on a part-time basis if they have the responsibility of taking care of their child after returning from parental or adoption leave.

Flexible work arrangements may include:
i) Working Hours (reduce hours, work time start and finish time etc.)
ii) Work Patterns (split shift, job sharing etc.)
iii) Work Locations (Work from home, remote location, etc.)

Casual Employees are not entitled to make the flexible work request unless:
i) Serving on a regular and systematic basis continuously for 12 months of employment
ii) Employer has a reasonable expectation of continuing the employee’s employment on a regular and systematic basis
Breaks and Daily Rest

An employee is allowed to have Rest Breaks for a short time in between the work hours. The rest breaks can also be referred to as ‘crib breaks’, ‘rest pauses’ or ‘tea breaks’.

A Meal Break has a longer rest period without interruption that allows employees to consume their meals.

Similar to Overtime, an award or agreement may provide paid or unpaid rest/meal breaks to the employees such as:
i) Break length
ii) Break types and the number of breaks in between the expected work hours
iii) Rules about breaks and payment

An award may also provide the minimum amount of time off or daily rest in between the shift and work roster of the employees.

Find out the break rules and daily rest set out by the award for your industry over here.
Roster Changes and Working on a Rostered Day Off
Any changes that an employer wants to make to an employee’s regular work roster or ordinary hours of work are required to be discussed with the employee first. They will need to consider a few factors:
i) Information on the expected changes
ii) Gather employee feedback on the potential impact of the changes
iii) Review and consider the feedback from the employee

In regards to employees working on a period that is not required to work, Rostered Day Off (RDO), the employee's supposed day off may be paid or unpaid depending on the rules for RDO that are set out by the award or registered agreement. Typically RDOs are paid due to employees working extra hours when summed over a set time.

For more information on the roster changes rule, you may refer to it here. As for the information regarding RDO, you may refer to it here.
Public Holiday
An employee who works during a public holiday will get at least their base pay rate for the total work hours. Additionally, an award or agreement may provide the employer or employee terms for entitlements such as:
i) Public Holiday Pay Rates
ii) Replacement Leave (Extra Day Off or Extra Annual Leave)
iii) Minimal Shift Lengths
iv) Substituting a public holiday to another date

Annual Leave
Employees are entitled to be paid by the employer during the period of their annual leave.

You may also find out about the annual leave information for the shift workers here.

Accrual of Leave
An employee may be entitled to an accrual of annual leave given that:
i) Employee is entitled to paid leave such as annual, sick and carer’s leave
ii) Employee is serving Jury Duty or other community services.
iii) Long Service

The leave may accrue gradually from year to year if there is any unused annual leave. An employee is not entitled to the accrual of leave if they are on unpaid leave terms.

Unused Annual Leave during Employment Termination
During the end of employment, the employer is required to pay the employees for the amount of their annual leave untaken (if any).
Sick/Carer Leave

The employee is only allowed to take paid sick/carer leave if:

i) Unfit for work due to illness or injury affecting the employee ii) Required to provide care or support to an immediate family or household who is ill, injured or has an emergency.
iii) Female employees taking sick/carer leave as special maternity leave.Similar to annual leave, the employer is required to pay for the period of sick/carer leave taken by the employees. An employee’s entitlement for the paid sick/carer’s leave may also accrue progressively from year to year.

Unpaid Sick/Carer Leave
All employees are entitled to at least 2 days of unpaid sick/carer leave. However, an employee is not allowed to take unpaid sick/carer leave unless the paid sick/carer leave is out of balance. The employee is allowed to take both days continuously or in separation if the employee and employers agree.

Compassionate and Bereavement Leave

All employees are entitled to compassionate leave (bereavement leave). An award or agreement may provide additional entitlements to compassionate leave.

Paid Compassionate Leave Entitlement: 2 Days
An employee is allowed to take the compassionate leave in:
i) 2 continuous days
ii) 2 separate periods with 1 day each
iii) Any 2 separated periods as long as the employer agrees

There is no accrual to compassionate leave and it is not to be considered as part of sick/carer leave entitlement.

An employee can take compassionate leave if:
i) An immediate family member dies, contracts/develops a life-threatening illness or injury
ii) A baby in their immediate family or household is stillborn.
iii) An employee having a miscarriage themselves
iv) Current spouse has a miscarriage

Maternity and Parental Leave
Employees who have worked over 12 months with the employer are entitled to Parental Leave when their child is born or they have adopted a child. Casual employees are only entitled to unpaid Parental Leave if they have served continuously for 12 months or have reasonable expectations of continuing the employment on a regular and systematic basis.

The Parental Leave entitlement includes:
i) Maternity Leave
ii) Paternity/Partner Leave
iii) Adoption Leave
iv) Special Maternity Leave

Such Leave can be taken when:
i) An employee has just given birth
ii) The spouse of an employee has just given birth
iii) An employee adopts a child under the age of 16 years old

Unpaid Parental Leave
Employees are also entitled to continuous 12 months of unpaid parental leave and additional requests for 12 more months of leave if the employer agrees.

A pregnant employee may choose to start the period of leave 6 weeks before the expected date of birth of their child (or earlier if the employer agrees). The said pregnant employee, however, is not allowed to start the leave later than the date she has given birth to her child.

If the child is adopted, the period of leave can only begin on the day of the placement of the child.

Flexible Unpaid Parental Leave
Employees can only take flexible unpaid parental leave within 24 months of the birth of their child or placement of an adopted child. The moment when an employee takes flexible unpaid parental leave, their entitlement to continuous unpaid parental leave will be considered as ended during the first day of flexible unpaid parental leave.

The Flexible Unpaid Parental Leave can be taken in the form of:
i) A single continuous period of 1 day or longer
ii) Separated periods of 1 day or longer for each.

An employee is allowed to take flexible unpaid parental leave after taking one or more continuous unpaid parental leave. The total length of both periods is not allowed to be longer than 12 months

Keeping In Touch Days for Parent

Keeping In Touch Days allows an employee to return to work for days during their unpaid parental leave. This allows the employee to keep themselves up to date with their workplace and refresh their work skills to facilitate their return to work.

Number of Days: 10 Days (Does not affect their unpaid parental leave entitlement) Additional if unpaid parental leave has been extended beyond 12 months: 10 Days.

Mode of work for Keep In Touch Days:
i) Day by day
ii) A few days in a continuous period
iii) All at once

Additional Rule:
i) 42 days after the child's birth or adoption (can only be earlier at employee's request).
ii) Not allowed to be within 14 days after the child’s birth or adoption.
iii) Both employer and employee have to agree.

Unpaid Maternity Leave
A female employee is entitled to a special Unpaid Maternity Leave if she is not fit to work due to any pregnancy-related illness.

Pre-Adoption Leave

Employees are entitled to unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend relevant interviews or examinations for the child's adoption. The employee is not allowed to take this leave if the employer has directed the employee to take other forms of leave such as paid Annual Leave.

Number of Days: 2 Days Unpaid

The Pre-Adoption Leave can be taken as:
i) A single continuous period of 2 days
ii) A separate period if both the employee and employer agree

Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave
The unpaid family and domestic violence leave is available in full and to all types of employees including full-time, part-time and casual employees every beginning of the 12 months. The unpaid family and domestic violence leave do not accrue from year to year.

Number of Days: 5 Days Unpaid (Per Year)

The Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave can be taken as:
i) A single continuous period of 5 days
ii) Separate periods of one or more days each
iii) Any separation of periods that both the employee and employer agree

Long Service Leave
An employee may be entitled to Long Service Leave after serving a long period of work under the same employer. The entitlement to Long Service Leave comes from the laws set in each state or territory. The conditions are usually based on:
i) How long an employee has to work to be entitled
ii) How long the leave the employee is entitled to

Portable Long Service Leave

Certain industries are provided with the legislation by the Australian states and territories to access the Portable Long Service Leave, such as the security, community services, building and construction, coal mining, and contract cleaning industries. Employees who are entitled to Portable Long Service Leave will get to keep their entitlement if they work on different projects for one or more employers.

Community Service Leave
An employee (including casual employees) is entitled to community leave if serving activities such as jury duty or voluntary emergency management activities. The employee is also entitled to take community service leave while engaged in the activity and for reasonable travel and rest periods.

There is no limit for the employee to take community service leave. However, if the employee is serving the jury service, the employer is only entitled to pay for the first 10 days of absence provided with evidence of that 10 absent days.

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5 Ways of Security Enhancement with iNeighbour

Visitor Management System
iNeighbour provides the guardhouse panel tablet replaces the traditional way of handwriting in a notebook, the Visitor Management System able to record every visitor's checked in-out time, the purpose of visit, the unit and resident they visited. The residents would receive the live notification once the security checked-in-out the visitor, they are also able to report the “wrong visitor” check in their unit to management.

For management, admins are able to customise the settings and different questions before allowing visitors to access from their own neighbourhood iNeighbour account web portal. Management admin is also able to generate different reports, for example visitor checked-in-out, pre-registered and invited visitor, visitor checked-in trend, restricted visitor, wrong visitor checked-in and etc from web portal.


The security guards are able to intercom contact residents handphone through the iNeighbour Visitor Management System guardhouse panel tablet, it is able to control access and ensure that only authorised visitors are permitted into the neighbourhood. And for contact numbers of residents will remain concealed and protected for security and privacy purposes from iNeighbour Visitor Management System.


TimeTec BLE-2 is integrated into the iNeighbour Visitor Management System, the function can automatically trigger the visitor check-in and check-out lane barrier gates to open, it can avoid the security guards simply manually pressing the push button to allow the visitor access. Therefore the security guards have to register every visitor via the guardhouse tablet panel before allowing visitor access into the neighbourhood.

Panic Button
The Panic Button is designed to ensure the safety of the residents within a neighbourhood. In the event of an emergency, residents can trigger the Panic Button buzzing alarm in order to inform the guardhouse panel tablet to alert guards on duty and emergency contact persons.

The residents will be given the choice for the option to specify the types of incident involved (standard, burglary, fire, medical assistance), and 4 photos will be taken via the resident’s smartphone to be uploaded into the server for better description of the incident happening or for the sake of obtaining crucial evidence.

iPatrol System

iPatrol system is our guard patrolling solution that offers cloud connectivity. The iPatrol system provides flexible and rotated schedules remotely,  and also able to track your security guards KPI more accurately compared to the offline system.The supervisors and admin also will receive the live notification for any late or misses scanning during patrolling, and also able to generate the daily, weekly,and monthly report from the iPatrol system web portal. Security guards are able to report incidents during their patrolling duties to the management personnel in real-time.

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9 Ways How iNeighbour Make Your Property Management More Efficient

With all the workloads to be handled by such few people in the office, it can be frustrating at times. Here is where the iNeighbour system plays its role in automating the process and helps to save time.

Visitor Management System
Starting with registering visitors, the iNeighbour system can capture and record all visitors who go in and out. This enables the management to keep track of the visitor’s details in the case of an emergency. Furthermore,
iNeighbour provides invitation and pre-registration for visitors to obtain a QR code and show it to the security guard for a speedy process upon checking into the neighbourhood.

In-App Payment

When it comes to payment, without a doubt it’s considered one of the most detailed yet troublesome works for management. Using the iNeighbour system, management can save a lot of time as the system enables the residents to make payments via the iNeighbour app. From the generation of invoices to knocking off outstanding amounts and generating receipts no longer needs to be done manually. Not to mention it reduces human errors as well.


Posting announcements would be within your fingertips. It can be done anywhere and anytime as long you log in to the web portal. Even attachments can be added to the announcements to provide even further clarification to the residents.

Feedback/Inquiry Management

Don’t forget that residents often provide feedback or complaints to the management where it might be left out or not recorded. iNeighbour has the perfect solution for this, as it enables both the management and residents to have communication for feedback on its status, new to in progress and finally resolved. Weekly or monthly reports can also be generated to justify the work done, therefore reducing disputes.

Facility Booking Management

The management can create facility booking slots via the iNeighbour system. No more manual books are needed and you even have the option of auto approval or manual approval for each booking made by the residents. The system also has various advanced settings to prevent misuse of the feature, eg: Only x numbers of slots can be booked by a parcel unit, must utilise existing booked slots only able to book another slot and more.


The committee can post important documents for every user to view or download from the iNeighbour app. The latest version of your house rules or every year’s AGM meetings minutes. A place for users to always refer back and not worry about it flooding with other messages.


Forms are also one of the troubling issues faced by both the management and residents. As forms are usually in hardcopies where residents are required to spare some time to come to the management just to fill in the forms, where failure to do so in a way might obstruct the procedure or management’s policy. The iNeighbour app allows for form customisation, enabling residents to fill in the form via the app. Once it has been submitted, the management is then able to respond to it where it could reduce the hassle and even provide a record in the system.


Every once in a while, there will be calls coming into the management to request contacts such as a guard’s contact, contact for the gas provider or even a plumber’s contact. Using the iNeighbour app, the management could upload any useful contact information for the residents to view and call. It’ll be very convenient for the residents to call for those useful contacts instead of them repetitively looking for management for such requests.

Panic Alert

A feature that is good to have, but hopes nobody has to use it. The iNeighbour app has a panic button for the residents to press where it would notify both the management, guards and emergency contacts (neighbours or friends) if any emergency were to occur. This would increase the response time in handling emergencies for the management and security guards.

There are even more ways that the iNeighbour System can benefit the property manager. Do not miss this chance to adopt a system to automate and increase efficiency in your work routine.
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5 Ways to Improve Your Property Manager Efficiency

Property managers are well known for multitasking and handling dozens of tasks per day. Unsurprisingly, you feel there are not enough hours per day. Here are some ways to maximise your productivity.


There is a saying when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It is because of the overwhelming tasks to complete every day, imagine what could have happened if a property manager does not have an end in mind in their daily operation. Things might be messy. Planning by creating a to-do list and then allocating every task a time to finish it would add structure to your day-to-day. You could start by prioritising the tasks to be done according to priorities. According to the book, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, one is advised to do the most important task the first thing in the morning to prevent procrastination.

Creating A System

Property managers are bound to handle issues from residents and tenants in a daily manner. So in other words, the issues that they are dealing with are repetitive. If that is the case, then creating a system or a standard operational procedure would save lots of time. For instance, prepare emails or templates for responding to residents' emails, inquiries, applications and even complaints. This would not only save time but also create consistency in every staff’s tasks.


A good property manager is not limited to only handling task efficiency but is also expected to be able to communicate with the residents or tenants as well. This plays a huge role especially in resolving disputes among the management and residents. Since managing a whole residential area by itself is not an easy task, a property manager must also be able to communicate well with their staff. Daily or weekly meetings could be held to ensure each individual is clear on their assigned tasks. This would in turn improve efficiency and at the same time create a conducive environment for everyone to work in.


When it comes to monetary issues, it is a very sensitive topic. This is where usually the owners or tenants come to request their payment receipt, statement of accounts or even question about the late payment interest. The property manager is expected to be able to provide all this information at their fingertips. I too believe that most of the management can provide at least such info. However, it might require some time to actually print out the receipt or even generate the reports. What if you could adopt an automated system where it could show the owner or tenants their invoices, receipts and even account statements automatically? This would not only show that the management is transparent but improve efficiency from a managing perspective.

Adopt Software-Aided System

I believe I have touched a little bit on the adoption of the system in the previous tips. Why still rely on manual work when you could use a system to conduct the practice? Nowadays, we have these all-in-one software systems that could manage the whole residential ecosystem from the visitor management system to the accounting system and even guard patrolling systems. The system not only improves communication between management and residents but can also keep track of info from both the residents and visitors. Besides storage and accessibility of store info will no longer be a concern for the management as most of the property management software now is cloud-based. In short, acquiring a software system for managing property will be a norm soon, where of course in the end it still depends on the management on how they can fully utilise the system.

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Justifying the ROI of a Human Resource Management System

Companies look for substantial Returns on Investment (ROI) from every decision made. That begs the question: Is a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) worth the investment? Is it a cost burden, something good to have or rather a need to have? To demonstrate its true value, here is the breakdown to paint a bigger picture.

We first need to look at the cost of implementing the HRMS. Typically, solutions like these would have monthly subscription costs instead of a lump sum payment. On top of that, if there is specific customisation or hardware needed, there will be additional charges. Depending on the system providers, some may require payment like training, migration and set-up.

There is no way to define the exact ROI, as there isn’t a realistic formula to calculate it. Rather, what’s practical is to look at the aspects that the system will have the most impact on and how these would bring direct/ indirect financial savings.

Extended Processing Time
Let’s be frank, most of the push factors to get the automated system is due to the lengthy processing time that is never-ending. Labour hours are considered as spending, by cutting down the time spent on processing your HR, you are also reducing the cost of staffing. You could save yourself from getting an admin, or free up your HR hands, allowing them to focus on what truly matters, the people.

Avoid Human Errors
Imagine if you are already late for your payroll payment and there is an error due to some input mistakes, we bet you would recoil from the scenario. Mistakes like this not only affect your employees' morale but also consumes unnecessary time to identify and rectify the errors. In the end, all these add up to more labour hours on the payroll processing that could have been avoided by getting an automated system.

Reduce HR Head Count
Due to the nature of the HRMS, you are pretty much running in automation on your HR, letting the system do its job. Instead of getting an HR admin, you could adopt the system at a much more affordable price to run your HR department. We are talking about most aspects that can be automated like Time & Attendance, Leave Management, Payroll & Claim Processing, and more.

Employee Self Service (ESS)
One of the greatest hassles faced by HR is having to answer all questions and requests that could have been done by employees themselves. Such matters alone wouldn’t mean much, but if they were to add up, it could eat up hours each week. By deploying ESS from Human Resource Management System, employees could look for answers on their own and manage their personal information without involving HR in the picture. 
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