Industrial relations (IR) is the management of work-related obligations and entitlements between employers and their workers. It is essential that business owners and workers understand whether their workplace is covered by either the state or national industrial relations system, because the two systems have different employment rights and obligations.

Private sector

All South Australian private sector businesses (including the non-government community services sector, private schools and universities) are covered by the Commonwealth Fair Work Act 2009 and are part of the national IR system.

The national IR system includes pay and employment conditions for private sector employers.

All claims and enquiries should be directed to the Fair Work Ombudsman - the independent commonwealth agency that works with employers, workers, contractors and the community.

The Fair Work Ombudsman can assist you with:

  • pay and wages
  • award and conditions of employment, such as sick leave and annual leave
  • advice to assist businesses that employ young workers
  • information for different types of employees such as casual workers, shift workers, probationary periods, work experience, trial work and other unpaid work.

The agency's role is to ensure that the workplace rights and obligations of workers and employers are understood and protected, to enforce compliance with Australia's workplace laws, and to investigate workplace complaints.

Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman InfoLine on 13 13 94 for more information.

Public sector and local government

The South Australian public sector, including almost all Government Business Enterprises, and the South Australian local government sector are part of the state industrial relations system. See the list of local government and Government Business Enterprises remaining in the state system.

Pay and employment conditions for SA’s public sector and local government are covered by the state IR system.

Page last updated 21 April 2020