Understand and comply with your legal requirements

Underpinning employment terms and conditions for all employees in Australia are the 10 minimum National Employment Standards (NES), the national minimum wage and the modern awards. These make up the minimum safety net for employees.

For most employers operating predominantly in the wine industry, growing wine grapes or producing wine, the Wine Industry Award 2010 applies. For those employers that have diverse operations as part of their business, other modern awards may well apply.

Employers must meet the terms and conditions of modern awards and the NES as a minimum obligation toward their employees.

Of course, not all employees are covered by modern awards. A number of professions and senior positions in the wine industry are award-free. In addition, as an alternative to modern awards, companies can also negotiate an enterprise agreement with their employees. In the wine industry, enterprise agreements are more commonly used by larger companies.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has extensive enforcement and compliance powers in relation to workplace laws, including modern awards and the NES.