Employment Agreements and Contracts
An employment agreement or contract is an agreement between an employer and the employee. Such an agreement exists as soon as you offer employment and the employee accepts that offer. A written employment agreement is a document you and your employee sign that outlines the terms of and conditions of employment. You don’t have to have a written employment agreement. However, having one ensures clarity of your expectations and legal requirements / entitlements.
A written employee contract leaves less room for misunderstanding and works to protect the employer and employee from a range of future issues. It should lay out the minimum terms and conditions of employment, and may also include a range of other agreed terms and conditions.
What should I include in my employment contract?
In addition to clearly describing what the employee is going to do for you (the job) and what you are going to do for the employee (the salary), the employment agreement can cover many other aspects of the employment relationship. For example:
- Duration of the job (one year, two years, or indefinitely)
- Information about the employee’s responsibilities
- What the employee will receive (eg: remuneration, leave, and any benefits you might offer as an employer)
- Grounds for termination
- Limitations on the employee’s ability to compete with your business once the employee leaves
- Protection of your trade secrets and client lists
- Your ownership of employee work product and intellectual property (eg: if the employee writes books or invents gadgets for you), or
- A method for resolving any disputes that arise during the employment relationship.
- The type of employment, whether that be Permanent (Full-Time or Part-Time) or Casual.
In Australia, the agreement must cover, at the very least, the minimum conditions as laid out by the national employment standards, or if applicable an industrial instrument. The human resource manager involved in the preparation of this agreement must ensure that the conditions offered do not fall short of the aforementioned minimum entitlements.
If the position you are filling is covered by an industrial instrument, like an award or enterprise agreement, it is crucial that you address this and any relevant points it covers.
Consider what other clauses would benefit the employer and employee. Other common clauses address termination, workplace behaviour, and overtime arrangements.
Do you need help drafting an employment contract?
Whether you need an employment, individual flexibility or enterprise bargaining agreement, Akyra brings specialist knowledge to the table. We have been successfully working in this field since 2002. Contact Akyra for an obligation free conversation.
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