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Protocol Guidelines

10.1 Application of local labour laws

LES have legal recourse on workplace issues. Under the Foreign States Immunities Act 1985, a foreign state is not immune in legal proceedings about the employment of Australian citizens and permanent residents as LES in foreign missions and posts.

LES employment conditions must meet Australian workplace standards, including minimum wages, leave, safety and protection from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Foreign missions should familiarise themselves with Australian national legislation including:

  • Fair Work Act 2009
  • Fair Work Regulations 2009
  • Sex Discrimination Act
  • Racial Discrimination Act

and with relevant state and territory legislation.

Award coverage for employees of embassies & consulates (Fair Work Ombudsman)

More information on minimum statutory terms and conditions is available from the Fair Work Ombudsman website or by emailing

Missions should seek local legal advice to ensure that their recruitment and employment processes are fully compliant with Australian laws and reflect best practice.

Last Updated: 9 August 2019
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