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Workplace Relations Glossary




The practice of regularly staying away from the workplace without reason. This does not apply to a one-off or involuntary absence that is due to a valid reason such as medical illness, injury or other events which may be excused with proof of leave (i.e. medical certificate or jury notice).

Adoption Related Leave

An unpaid form of parental leave. If one of your employees decides to adopt a child – and has the responsibility for the care of a child – may be entitled to unpaid leave following the adoption.

Affirmative Action

A practice of promoting equal employment and promotional opportunities in the workplace. ‘Affirmative action’ refers to action, such as policies and procedures, which favours those who tend to suffer from discrimination. This usually involves measures to prevent discrimination and prejudice in the workplace and promote under-represented groups of people such as women, the elderly, and disabled employees.

Annual Leave

An entitlement which allows a permanent employee to be paid while having time off from work. The entitlement to annual leave is derived from the National Employment Standards (NES). All employees (except for casual employees) are entitled to paid annual leave.

Annual Wage Review

The Fair Work Commission is required to undertake an annual wage review each financial year. In an annual review, the Fair Work Commission, review modern award minimum wages and the national minimum wage order; makes a national minimum wage order and may make one or more determinations varying modern awards to set, vary or revoke modern award minimum wages.


A legal process in which a party seeks to overturn a decision. If an employer or employee is not satisfied with a decision made by a member of the commission, they may choose to appeal it.

To succeed in an appeal a party must establish that the decision maker made an error (applied an incorrect principle of law) or made a finding of fact or facts that could not be supported by evidence. It is important to note that there is a specific time frame for the appeal process.


Refers to an individual, organisation or corporation who has decided to launch into legal action against another person(s). An Applicant may also be known as a ‘plaintiff’ in matters with corporations, admiralty, and in some other courts.


A review held to evaluate and address an employee’s job performance. This especially includes their skills, achievements, and shortcomings and / or any other criteria chosen by the business. Appraisals are often conducted by authorised personnel such as the employer, manager or department head and assess the employee’s performance and behaviour in relation to company standards.

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