Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Terms and conditions of employment
Chapter 3 - Rights and responsibilities of employees, employers, organizations etc.
Chapter 4 - Compliance and enforcement
Chapter 5 - Administration
Chapter 6 - Miscellaneous
Schedule 1 - Transitional provisions
The Fair Work Act (FWA):
- replaces the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard with a more comprehensive "safety net" of minimum terms and conditions regulated by legislation in the form of the National Employment Standards (NES) and the new "modern awards" which come into force on 1 January 2010;
- establishes a new institutional framework for the administration of the federal industrial relations system, with Fair Work Australia (FWA) and the Fair Work Ombudsman replacing the tribunals, agencies and courts that formerly had a role in making and enforcing employment terms and conditions;
- makes key changes to the system of enterprise bargaining to provide for a greater role for unions in collective bargaining and for FWA in overseeing the bargaining process; and
- enhances protections dealing with workplace and industrial rights (such as freedom of association) and unfair dismissal laws.
The FWA applies nationally to all employment by constitutional corporations. With respect to certain States the Act applies:
- in Victoria, ACT and the Northern Territories to all other employment;
- in New South Whales, Queensland and South Australia to all other private sector employment (from 1 January 2010)
- in Tasmania to all other private sector and local government employment (from 1 January 2010).
The FWA does not apply:
- in Western Australia to state public sector and local government employment and employment by non-constitutional corporations in the private sector
- in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia to state public sector and local government employment
- in Tasmania to state public sector employment.