Employee entitlements

All employees have the right to receive certain entitlements during the course of their employment, such as wages, leave and superannuation.

As contractor relationships are common in the industry, it's often difficult to determine whether a worker is legally an employee or contractor. Just because a worker has an ABN, doesn't necessarily classify them as a contractor. Subcontracting arrangements are usually entered into with an entity such as a Pty Ltd business, a trust or a partnership. A good indication of a true subcontracting arrangement is when the entity can delegate the work to a person to perform. The employment relationship must be stated in your written contract.

It’s illegal to misrepresent an employment relationship, under the Independent Contractors Act 2006. If you classify a worker as a contractor, but legally they’re an employee, you may be liable for unpaid benefits for the entire period they worked for you.

For help working out whether a worker is a contractor or employee, use this decision-making tool from the Australian Taxation Office.

Master Builders also offers advice in the following areas:

Awards and wages

Do you know the minimum standards and conditions for employees?

Leave and RDOs

Employees have the right to receive a range of leave entitlements.


Superannuation is complex, but we're here to provide advice.

Casual employees

Important changes have been made to Fair Work laws about the employment of casual employees.


As a general rule, overtime for all employees, including casuals must be paid in certain circumstances.

National Employment Standards

Employees in the private sector are covered by the following 10 minimum National Employment Standards (NES), set out in the Fair Work Act 2009

  • Maximum weekly hours (38 hours, plus reasonable overtime)
  • Right for parents to request flexible work arrangements
  • Parental leave (12 months unpaid per parent)
  • Annual leave
  • Personal/carer’s and compassionate leave (paid and unpaid)
  • Community service (unpaid) and jury service (paid)
  • Long service leave
  • Public holidays
  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay
  • Receive a Fair Work Information Statement.

The standards can be negotiated but mustn't be reduced by any Awards, enterprise agreements or employment contracts that result in less favourable conditions for an employee.

Fair Work Information Statement

You must give all new employees a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement from the Fair Work website, when they begin their employment (or earlier).


As an employer, you should also be aware of your obligation to have compulsory workers' compensation insurance that covers injured workers for loss of capacity and income and medical expenses caused by a work-related injury or illness.

Need more information?

If you haven’t found the answer to your questions on our website, give us a call or email us.

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