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Industrial instruments

Last updated January 2024

This chapter explains how industrial instruments can be used to reinforce work health and safety through the terms and conditions of employment.

What is an industrial instrument?

Definition: Industrial Instrument

An industrial instrument is defined under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) as a workplace instrument that:
- is made under, or recognised by, a workplace law; and
- concerns the relationships between employers and employees.

There are three types of industrial instruments:

  • the National Employment Standards (NES) of the FW Act;
  • modern awards; and
  • enterprise agreements.
Important: Industrial instruments can help to reinforce work health and safety by:
- limiting hours of work;
- incorporating rest breaks;
- including allowances for first aid training; and
- imposing obligations on employers to consult with affected employees about significant workplace change.