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An industrial instrument is any legislation or award, order, determination or industrial agreement in force under Australian legislation.

The most notable ones include The Fair Work Act, enterprise agreements, and modern awards.

The Fair Work Act (FW Act) uses Commonwealth constitutional powers to extend its operation as far as possible. This includes the power to make laws:

An enterprise agreement (or collective agreement) is an agreement made between a national system employer and some or all of its employees who are employed at the time the agreement is made.

A modern award is an instrument that records the minimum conditions of employment for employees it covers. These conditions are enforceable under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act). In Australia, there 122 modern awards.

The minimum conditions provided under these instruments apply automatically and cannot be overridden by any other arrangement between the employer and an employee.

Industrial instruments help protect employers and employees from discrimination and health and safety violations, as well as ensuring equal pay and leave provisions.


Top stories for Industrial Instruments


If ‘Nazi Sparky’ can pay, he must pay, says FWC

Industrial Instruments

An electrical contractor who was ordered by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to pay $11,400 to an unfairly dismissed employee has lost his application for a stay order.

By Portner Press on February 18th, 2019

McDonald’s franchisee disputes worker break entitlements

Modern Awards

A McDonald’s franchisee told its employees that if they took a 10-minute break they would not be able to have a drink of water or be allowed to use the toilet for the rest of their shift.

By Portner Press on February 15th, 2019

ACCI calls for action to stop employee underpayment

Industrial Instruments

In its 2019-2020 pre-budget submission, the ACCI has called upon the Federal Government to take more action to address the underpayment of employees.

By Portner Press on February 13th, 2019

Terminating an old enterprise agreement doesn’t undermine bargaining for a new one

Industrial Instruments

If an enterprise agreement has passed its nominal expiry date, it will continue to operate unless terminated or replaced. However...

By Charles Power on February 11th, 2019

Refusing a flexible work request? You MUST know this

Industrial Instruments

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) an eligible employee may request a change in working arrangements relating to certain prescribed circumstances.

By Charles Power on February 8th, 2019

New Fair Work regulation introduced in response to Workpac v Skene case

Industrial Instruments

The Federal Government has introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Casual Loading Offset) Regulations 2018 in response to the recent Workpac v Skene (2018) decision.

By Hannah Pelka-Caven on February 6th, 2019

Your questions answered: Are employees allowed to work more than 38 hours per week?

Industrial Instruments

Recently, we had a team working 36 hours straight to meet a deadline. They were willing... but I am concerned we should never have allowed this to occur.

By Portner Press on February 6th, 2019

Deceptive cashback scheme is outright wage theft, Court says

Industrial Instruments

Melbourne 7-Eleven operator, Jing Qi Xia, had implemented a cash-back scam so she could skim $6,670 of her employees’ wages for work they did.

By Portner Press on February 1st, 2019

$10K penalty for dismissing an employee ON PROBATION

Industrial Instruments

  The unfair dismissal scheme provided in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) will not apply to an employee who has not served the qualifying period. That period is six months or 12 months if the employer is […]

By Charles Power on January 25th, 2019

What the new casual conversion clause means for you

Modern Awards

Do you employ casuals? Important changes affect you NOW

By Hannah Pelka-Caven on January 21st, 2019