An employment contract can be oral, implied, or written. Given the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and modern awards set the baseline for employee entitlements, it is important for businesses to have their employment contract templates prepared by experienced business lawyers, to ensure their templates meet these baseline requirements without unintentionally placing additional obligations on the business.
Having A Valid Employment Contract
Though most business issues can be handled internally, it is important to have an experienced business lawyer prepare template employment contracts for your business, to ensure that a disgruntled employee cannot later use the employment contract against your business. An ill prepared employment contract can result in the employer being obliged to pay more severance pay than it otherwise would have had to, or the post-termination restraint clauses being rendered unenforceable. It is therefore important for employers to provide candidates with a written employment contract before employment commences.
How Can A Business Lawyer Help?
The right lawyer can help you:
- Choose the right type of employment contract: Full-time, part-time, casual and fixed-term employment contracts all have different nuances, so it is important to ensure the right templates are being used. One mistake we often see is where a full-time employment contract is modified to cater for a fixed-term employee, resulting in the employee obtaining (costly) redundancy rights that would not have otherwise been available to a true fixed-term employee.
- Avoid underpayment and unfair dismissal claims: The most common issues that give rise to lawsuits are underpayment and unfair dismissal claims. The right lawyer will be able to ensure employees are classified and paid in accordance with the applicable award, and that the proper dismissal processes are followed.
- Check your employment contacts to ensure they have all the necessary legal terms: An experienced business lawyer can review and troubleshoot any potential loopholes in your employment contracts. A common issue we see is employment contracts obliging employers to pay employees more severance pay than the employer would otherwise have had to pay under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
- When to enter into a new employment contract: Not only is it important to have written employment contracts for new candidates, but it is also equally important to provide existing employees with updated employment contracts each time their position or pay changes. This is to ensure the post-termination restraint clauses are proportional to the employee’s new position or pay.
Need employment contracts?
If you have decided that you need a business lawyer for advice on drafting an employment contract, you need to look for the right lawyer. Such a lawyer can review the needs of your business and advice on how to proceed. But not all lawyers are conversant with employment law. You have to get someone who deals with employment contracts to ensure you get the best protection. We also offer standard employment contracts through our online store, coupled with review and legal sign-off by an expert business lawyer.