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Employment Contracts 101

What is an employment agreement?

An employment agreement is an agreement between the employer and employee that details the rights and obligations of each party. In Australia all employees must have a common law contract of employment that specifies the terms and conditions and rights and responsibilities with their employer. Further to this, agreements allow employers to set certain conditions and standards to meet their specific needs which are upon that of the minimum conditions in the National Employment Standards.

Why are they important?

Employment agreements are important because they set out the minimum standard of employment conditions.

Here are 11 things you must include in your employment agreements:

– The name and details of the employer and employee – The date of birth of employees if under 21 years of age – The title of the job and brief description of the job they will be performing – Date of commencement of employment – Is the employment ongoing, fixed-term, casual? ie. you might just want to employ someone for the length of a job – The amount of the employee’s remuneration, how it is made up and when it will be paid – Required notice to be given by both employer and employee to end the employment relationship – A provision clarifying the status of company policies – Acknowledgment that the employee has a legal right to work in Australia – A provision to enable over-award payments e.g. overtime or penalties – A provision dealing with any changes to the employee’s role on the contract. Eg. if the employee’s duties, reporting arrangements, remuneration or job location change, does the contract still apply?

What are some employment contract provisions that can be included?

Confidentiality Agreement A confidentiality agreement is part of a contract in which the employee promises never to share any information about the details of how the employer’s business is conducted. Most times, this agreement lasts even after the employee has finished working with the employee.

Non-competition Agreement A non-competition agreement clause details that the employee agrees for a certain amount of time after he or she stops working for the employer, the employee is not able to be employed by a rival company or any company engaged in a similar type of work. Usually, the non competition agreement is limited to a particular geographic area.

Exclusive Employment Exclusive employment outlines that as long as the employee works for the company, the employee will not work for anyone else in the same or similar type of business.

Termination In any employment contract there is a standard clause with details regarding terminations.

Arbitration In many different types of contracts there is an arbitration clause detailing whether the parties agree that if they have a dispute about any aspect of the employment relationship, they will submit the dispute to arbitration rather than seek resolution by court of law.

For information regarding the specific award for Building and Construction, click here

Please note: Clients should not act solely on the basis of the information here. Please contact us for further information.


This information is not to be relied upon without speaking to your accountant, tax agent or financial adviser depending on the advice.

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