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MKI Legal have been recognised as leading Perth employment lawyers. We have been chosen as a top Western Australian employment firm in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 by the Doyles Lawyers Guide.

MKI Legal are a specialist employment law firm helping employees, contractors and businesses.

We have helped thousands of our clients deal with their employment law problems.


MKI Legal has been Featured as Expert Employment Lawyers In

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Employment Law in Australia

Employment Law in Australia

The employment law system in Australia is separated into either a State-based employment system or a Federal employment system.

In Western Australia, you are likely in the Federal system if you work for a company, the Federal government, a not-for-profit that sells goods or services (as oppose to relying entirely on donations or grants) or certain local councils.

Most employees in Australia fall under the Federal system.

The employment relationship is governed in a variety of ways including private contracts between employer and employee, awards which apply to specific industries, enterprise bargaining agreements and legislation such as the Fair Work Act.

Employment Law in Australia

The Federal System

The Federal employment system is governed primarily by the Fair Work Act.

The Fair Work Act sets out minimum standards of employment, including a set out 10 minimum entitlements which covers rights and obligations such as maximum hours of work, annual leave, sick leave, minimum notice requirements, redundancy pay and rights to flexibility at work.

The Fair Work Act also has mechanisms to help employees who have been dismissed in breach of the law.

The Federal employment system has created various entities to ensure that the laws are followed which include:

  • The Fair Work Commission which has responsibilities under the Fair Work including making awards, setting minimum pay, approving enterprise bargaining agreements and hearing disputes such as unfair dismissal claims. The Fair Work Commission is a tribunal, which is basically like a court.
  • The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent government body which investigates complaints and enforces compliance of national employment laws. The Fair Work Ombudsman is not a court but has a similar role in relation to workplace laws as the Australian Taxation Office has to taxation law.
  • Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court: these two courts have the power to deal with all federal legal issues including employment issues. They can hear claims for underpayment, general protections, breaches of the Fair Work Act and have the power to issue fines for breaches of workplace laws.
Employment Law in Australia

WA State System

You are likely in the Western Australian State system if you work for:

  • the Western Australian State government;
  • a sole trader;
  • a partnership (not involving a company); or
  • a not-for-profit which relies on grants and donations (and does not sell goods or services).

The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission is the tribunal which has the power to determine various disputes involving employees in the State system.


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