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Why do you need an employment contract?

We suggest that you issue an employment contract to any new or existing employees. This includes full-time, part-time or casual staff, as well as employees that are on fixed-term contracts.

Whilst it's not compulsory to have a written job contract in place, it provides a documented point of reference and therefore minimises potential disputes.

The specific benefits include:

  • Formalises remuneration
  • Establishes job duties
  • Sets out performance requirements
  • Protects commercial interests like non-compete
  • Outlines termination obligations
  • Confirms compliance with National Employment Standards (NES)
  • Deals with confidentiality
  • Sets out probationary periods

A well written employment contract should include enough detail to allow the employer and staff member to understand what is required by them and to set the expectations, such as:

Duration, position, job duties, remuneration including any bonuses or commissions, allowances, leave (including annual leave, personal or carer's leave, parental leave, long service leave), superannuation, probationary period, termination (notice or no notice), protection of confidential information and intellectual property and post termination restrictions (eg non-compete).

If you use a generic template, make sure that the employment contract is personalised to the individual employee. Each job is different and you should take into account the circumstances of each staff member.

If the employee is on an award, you should refer to the award in the contract. Ensure that any conditions in the contract meets or is better than the conditions stated in the award (from the perspective of the employee).

All employment contracts must adhere to any current regulations set by the Fair Work Act in Australia.

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