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The Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) applies to employees engaged by a foreign State, an individual diplomat or a consular officer, except in Western Australia.

However, Commonwealth legislation and international conventions may give the foreign State, individual diplomat or consular officer immunity from Australian employment law, including the Fair Work Act, for some of their employees.

Australian law will apply if:

  • an international convention doesn’t give immunity to the foreign State, individual diplomat or consular officer for the employee’s employment
  • the contract of employment was made in Australia or is to be performed wholly or partly in Australia
  • at the time the contract was made the employee was a permanent Australian resident.

Where Australian law applies, the employee is entitled to the minimum conditions of the Fair Work Act.

A modern award may also cover these employees, depending on the type of work they do.

Award coverage

Miscellaneous Award

The Miscellaneous Award can cover employees who are engaged by a foreign State, an individual diplomat or a consular officer and who do the following work:

  • driving
  • cooking or catering
  • cleaning
  • gardening or maintenance
  • clerical work
  • nanny work.

If an employee engaged by a foreign State, an individual diplomat or a consular officer is undertaking work not listed above, please contact the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) directly to discuss award coverage. If a modern award doesn’t cover an employee, they can be entitled to the national minimum wage and the National Employment Standards.

More information

Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman if you have questions or want more information.

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Page reference No: K600567