Employer Advice

Providing expert advice to give you peace of mind for your business


Master Electricians Australia is your one-stop-shop for advice regarding employment and industrial relations issues. We’re your trusted business partner when you need help in your business.

As a Master Electrician you have unlimited Employer Advice support when you need it – all included as part of your membership with no hidden costs.

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Supporting members with employer advice for over 82 years

Across Australia, many businesses are not aware of their employment compliance obligations, whilst others struggle to comprehend and implement them.

We appreciate it is incredibly overwhelming to keep abreast of government regulations, penalties and fines, as well as compliance – all which can potentially cost you thousands of dollars.  The Australian employment compliance landscape is complex  – so let us support you to achieve peace of mind and protect your business.

We support you with:
  • Access to COVID-19 resources including advice, processes and procedures, webinar updates and check lists
  • Unlimited access to our Hotline Advice service at no extra cost
  • Advice covering complex employment relations and work, health and safety issues
  • Interpreting Awards and legislation
  • Advice on the Fair Work Act and your obligations
  • Negotiation assistance and advice for:
    • Enterprise agreements
    • Industrial disputes
    • Matters before the Fair Work Commission
  • Employment contracts, workplace policies, dismissal process, dispute matters and relevant documentation
  • Legislation and industry updates as and when they happen
  • Understanding (wage) rates of pay, minimum wage and employee entitlements
  • Other workplace relations matters

Our members also have access to a suite of fact sheets and employment guidance reports which have been developed to equip you with the tools you need to successfully manage your employees.

We have employment advice ready for you, so that you can get on with the job.

Not yet a member and need advice?

MEA members have unlimited access to our employer advice line, safety and technical advice hotline plus exclusive savings and tools to improve your business performance.
  • Don’t get caught out paying for workplace relations services that you get for FREE, as part of your membership. Click to compare >>

    If you are approached by organisations providing employer advice services, before signing anything, please call MEA. It has been reported that members have signed expensive ($9,000 pa+) 5 year, locked-in contracts for services that they already receive as a Master Electrician.

    Call MEA before you sign so we can discuss the options with you!

    Master Electricians vs Market Competitor

    Master Electricians  *Market Competitor (from $9,000+ pa)
    Advice Unlimited calls to our Employer Advice Line, Technical and Safety hotline. Advice on employment relations and workplace health and safety.
    Award Summary Provided at no cost – and posted to you upon request. Limited summary notes.
    Advocacy Local, state and federal advocacy and representation with regulators and government. Not included.
    Australian Standards 21 Australian Standards (including AS/NZS 3000:2018). Not included.
    Representation Unlimited advice on dismissals and redundancy processes. Legal assistance and representation provided. Legal assistance and representation provided.
    Fair Work Representation Included as part of your membership. Not included.
    SWMS 10 SMWMs available to all members. Not included.
    MEA Employer Advice Line Wages updates via email and 24/7 access via Members’ section of our website.

    Tailored documents are available including employee contracts, handbooks, policies and forms, and provide guidance on using them.

    Documents and processes are reviewed to identify areas of non-compliance.

    Tailored documents are available including employee contracts, handbooks, policies and forms, and provide guidance on using them.

     Insurance Business insurance discounts and specialised risk analysis from Comsure Insurance Brokers. e.g. Professional Indemnity and Public Liability.

    50% off Insurer’s premium rates for Management Liability.

    Not included.
     Member Benefits A range of benefits including:

    • 15% off all Telstra business plans
    • Legal advice (first 20 minutes free)
    • Xero accounting software (20% discount)
    • Fleet discounts
    • Access to business coaching + much more.
     Not included.

    *Information is for illustrative purposes, correct at time of issue and based on examples provided to us by members.
    ^Additional fees apply for ME Safety Essential and ME Safety Pro. 50% off the Insurer’s standard annual premium rate for MLI Insurance through Comsure (subject to Insurer’s underwriting acceptance).

  • Fair Work and electrical contractors FAQ


    What does the Fair Work Act mean for electrical contractors?

    The Fair Work Act 2009 and Regulations is the main legislation that governs employment law in Australia.  It covers the majority of private businesses in Australia. Sole traders and partnerships in Western Australia are NOT covered by the Fair Work System.

    The Fair Work Act covers areas the employment relationship including:

    • Award system of minimum terms and conditions.
    • Enterprise agreements and bargaining rules.
    • Record keeping and pay slips.
    • Union right of entry/union disputes.
    • the National Employment Standards.
    • Unfair dismissal and General Protections rules.
    • Fair Work bullying and sexual harassment jurisdictions.
    • Operation of the Fair Work Commission.


    Is the Fair Work Act the only law that covers employment?

    No. Employment law is not singularly governed by the Fair Work Act and there are a range of other pieces of legislation dictate what an employer can and cannot do. These include:

    • Workers’ compensation legislation.
    • Workplace Health and Safety legislation.
    • Disability and discrimination legislation.
    • Super guarantee legislation.
    • Long service leave.

    There are three bodies have roles in the Fair Work system:

    1. The Fair Work Commission
    2. Fair Work Ombudsman
    3. Fair Work Federal Divisions of the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court (previously known as the Federal Magistrates Court).


    What award covers electrical contractors?

    Most electrical contractors will be covered by the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2020 (Modern Award) which provides a minimum set of terms and conditions; in addition to the National Employment Standards (NES). Detailing rates of pay, allowances, hours of work provisions engagement of different types of workers, including apprentices.

    Some Master Electricians may be covered by the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020, Black Coal Industry Award 2020 or others based on the types of work and locations they perform it.

    Many members are covered by multiple awards such as the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020 that covers their administration staff.


    What responsibilities do electrical contractors have under the Fair Work Act?

    Electrical contractors need to comply with it or face potential fines, unfair dismissal claims, general protections claims and underpayment of wages claims. Any of which can significantly harm a business’ viability.


    What is the Fair Work Commission?

    The Commission is Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal. It was established by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) and is responsible for administering the provisions of the Fair Work Act.

    The Commission’s powers and functions include:

    • dealing with unfair dismissal claims.
    • dealing with anti-bullying claims.
    • dealing with general protections and unlawful termination claims.
    • setting the national minimum wage and minimum wages in modern awards.
    • making, reviewing and varying modern awards.
    • assisting the bargaining process for enterprise agreements.
    • approving, varying and terminating enterprise agreements.
    • making orders to stop or suspend industrial action.
    • dealing with disputes brought to the Commission under the dispute resolution procedures of modern awards and enterprise agreements.
    • determining applications for right of entry permits.
    • promoting cooperative and productive workplace relations and preventing disputes.

    The Commission and General Manager also have responsibilities in relation to the registration, amalgamation, and cancellation of registered organisations and the making and alteration of their rules under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009.


    What is the Fair Work Ombudsman?

    The Fair Work Ombudsman investigates complaints and contraventions of the workplace relations law. The Fair Work divisions of the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court hear matters arising from workplace relations laws. The courts also have power to hear matters in relation to notice of termination and redundancy. The Fair Work Division of the Federal Circuit Court limit is $20,000.


    How can MEA help electrical contractors facing Fair Work action?

    While MEA regularly helps members with representation in claims in the Commission our best efforts are prior to a decision to terminate being made. Very little can be rectified if the business has already made the decision to terminate without putting in place a defendable basis to operate.

    The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) lays down basic principles that must be followed to fairly and lawfully dismiss employees. This involves:

    • Having a valid reason for the dismissal – one that is not unfair or unlawful. A valid reason is one which is “sound, defensible or well founded”, but not “capricious, fanciful, spiteful or prejudiced”,
    • Having sufficient reason for the dismissal, e.g. does the employee’s conduct or performance justify dismissal or is the employee’s work no longer an operational requirement of the employer,
    • Carrying out the dismissal in a way that is procedurally fair, such as investigating allegations and giving employees an opportunity to respond to allegations,
    • A decision to dismiss should not be harsh or unreasonable given the circumstances,
    • Giving notice of dismissal to the employee

    If an employee feels they have been unfairly dismissed they may be able to apply to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for reinstatement or compensation. If FWC considers a dismissal to be unfair, it may order the employee be reinstated or compensation be paid to them.

    An employee could also make an unlawful termination claim to FWC or discrimination claim to the applicable state/territory discrimination or human rights commission. Prospective employees, those who may only be candidates for a vacant position may be able to make a claim.

    The MEA Employer Advice team recommends that all members take the time to prepare for a dismissal by seeking advice on how to engage in reasonable management action in a reasonable way.

Need help?

An unexpected issue arises which you need advice or information

On the spot advice

We will provide you with advice as well as follow up with any relevant documentation


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Contact the MEA Employer Advice Line

Call 1300 889 198 or Email [email protected]