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National system employers

Last updated October 2015

This chapter explains why it is important to know whether you are a national system employer and how to determine if you are one.

What is a national system employer?

Definition: National System Employer

A national system employer is an employer that is:
- a constitutional corporation;
- the Commonwealth;
- a Commonwealth authority;
- a body corporate incorporated in a territory; or
- a person who carries on an activity (whether of a commercial, governmental or other nature) in a territory in Australia.
Definition: Constitutional Corporation

A constitutional corporation is a corporation to which paragraph 51(xx) of the Australian Constitution applies. To be a constitutional corporation, an employer must be:
- a foreign corporation, i.e. a corporation incorporated outside of Australia that does business in Australia;
- a financial corporation formed in Australia; or
- a trading corporation formed in Australia.

Why is it important to know if you are a national system employer?

You need to know if you are a national system employer to determine which legislation and industrial instruments you and your employees are operating under.