Employment contracts for digital agencies
Is your current contract suitable for your digital agency?
A generic contract template is most likely not going to be suitable for a digital agency. For example, your web developers are generally covered by a specific industry award. Also, there are specific issues that are particularly relevant to digital companies, including ownership of intellectual property, poaching of staff (by ex-staff), conflict of interest and non-compete restrictions.
The employment contract should accurately reflect the mutual expectations of the employer and employee, to ensure that there are no potential misunderstandings or disputes in the future.
The contract should always be compliant with the Fair Work Act in Australia.
Have you covered the following issues?
Professional Employees Award 2010
The web developers in your agency are likely to be covered by the Professional Employees Award 2010. An employment contract issued to any of these staff members should accurately reflect the terms of this award.
As a digital agency, your staff will be creating intellectual property as part of their employment. You should ensure that there are no disagreements about who the rightful owner of the IP is.
The nature of a digital agency is that staff do turn over. Whilst sometimes difficult to enforce, make sure that the employment contract contains a strong non-compete clause to restrict competitive behaviour by relevant ex-employees.
Protect your agency by preventing ex-employees from poaching your existing staff or enticing them to leave. This is an important industry issue that you should be on top of.
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