An employee of a national system employer (called a national system employee) who has been dismissed is protected from unfair dismissal and eligible to make an application for unfair dismissal remedy if:
- they have completed the minimum period of employment AND
- they earn less than the high income threshold (which is currently $158,500 per year), or
- a modern award covers their employment, or
- an enterprise agreement applies to their employment.
It is not an unfair dismissal if the dismissal was:
- a genuine redundancy, or
- consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code (in the case of employees of small business).
What is a national system employer?
See Fair Work Act 2009 s.14
Whether an employer is a national system employer depends on the location of the employment relationship (state or territory) and, in some cases, the legal status and business of the employer.
In broad terms a national system employer includes:
- all employers in Victoria (with limited exceptions in relation to some State public sector employees), the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory
- all employees on Norfolk Island, the Territory of Christmas Island and the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- private enterprise employers in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia
- private enterprise employers and local government employers and employees in Tasmania
- employers that are constitutional corporations in Western Australia (including Pty Ltd companies) – this may include some local governments and authorities
- the Commonwealth and Commonwealth authorities
- the employers of waterside employees, maritime employees and flight crew officers in interstate or overseas trade or commerce.
Who is not a national system employer?
See Fair Work Act ss.14, 30D and 30N
In broad terms, the following are not national system employers:
- State government employers in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania
- local government employers in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia
- employers that are non-constitutional corporations in Western Australia (including an individual, a sole trader, partnership or trust)
- employers of employees at higher managerial levels in the public sector in Victoria.
 The high income threshold for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 was $153,600.