What Is An Employment Contract In Australia? Are Employment Contracts Compulsory?

November 10, 2022    Employment Lawyers
What Is An Employment Contract In Australia? Are Employment Contracts Compulsory?

Before you learn about an employment contract in Australia, you must know that writing down the specifics of an employment arrangement is not only a legal recommendation. It also aids in protecting the essential aspect of any business: the people.


Employment contracts are important in Australia, and many employers end up hiring contract lawyers in Perth for this reason. In this guide, you will learn more about employment contracts and why they are important to manage professional relationships.


What Is An Employment Contract?


An employment contract is a written or verbal agreement that usually sets out the terms and conditions that helps govern the relationship between an employee and the employer. This is covered by the Fair Work Act 2009; the contract needs to provide conditions consistent with basic entitlements under the NES or National Employment Standards.


They include the following:

  • Maximum weekly hours
  • Requests for flexible working arrangements
  • Paid/ unpaid leaves that need to include annual leave, parental leave, personal leave, long service leave, community service leave and many more
  • Public holidays
  • Redundancy pay and termination notice
  • Fair work information statement.

What Are The Forms Of Employment Contracts?


In general terms, there are around two forms of employment contracts that can be used to hire for your business. They are as follows:

1. Open-Ended Contract

This is a form of employment contract that covers ongoing employment arrangements. It also helps to cover ongoing employment arrangements with no end date and might apply irrespective of whether the employee is a casual, full-time or part-time employee. Under this kind of contract, the employment can continue till the employee resigns or is terminated.


2. Fixed-Term Contract

Before hiring employment lawyers in Perth, you need to learn more about this type of employment contract. This type of employment contract can be appropriate when engaging employees for a certain period. The employment arrangement can end based on specific conditions like task completion.


The employee’s employment status needs to be considered when drafting this contract. Here, the employee is hired on a specific salary, full-time, part-time or casually. It is essential that both parties understand the capacity in which the employee is hired along with the rights, obligations, entitlements and much more.


What Are The Things That Are Included In An Employment Contract?


Irrespective of the industry or company size, important provisions need to be included in the employment contract. They are as follows:

  • Personal details about the employee and the employer
  • Start date of the employment and probation period
  • Job title and description
  • Requirements for the position like registration, clearances, license and much more
  • Specific employer policies and procedures
  • The type of employment (part-time, full-time, casual)
  • The place and hours of work following the jurisdictional health and safety requirements
  • Remuneration like commission, salary, superannuation and means of payment
  • Leave entitlements
  • Grievance and other disciplinary policies
  • Confidentiality agreement for data protection
  • Non-disparagement clauses can prevent parties from saying bad or negative about each other
  • Termination clauses that include redundancy
  • Notice periods for employment termination agreement as per the act.

Why Is It Essential For You To Have An Employment Contract?


While there is no specific law in Australia that can mandate the creation of a written employment contract, getting one in proper order is essential. Before consulting an employment contract lawyer, you need to learn more about an employment contract.


An employment contract can provide security and certainty of the employment relationship as it can clarify the duties, rights and obligations expected from every party. The contract will help to serve as a strong legal basis for protecting the employer and employee’s interests.


Is It Illegal To Employ Someone Without An Employment Contract?


Though it is not considered illegal, you must remember that the NES minimum employment entitlements will apply to all workers whether or not they must sign a contract. As an employer, you will be responsible for ensuring the terms and conditions meet the basic requirements under the NES.


Can An Employer Break An Employment Contract?


There are multiple reasons why an employer may need to terminate an employment contract, such as redundancy, performance problems, winding up of the business or other reasons. Though the termination of an employee can be a sensitive issue, legal advice in the form of contract lawyers in Perth needs to be sought before taking such decisions.


What Is An Award In An Employment Contract?


Some of the modern awards in an employment contract can include legal documents that define the minimum pay rates and employment conditions with regard to the industry or occupation.


Contact Employment Lawyers Perth WA


If there is a breach of the employment contract, you need to make an employment contract, or you are looking to terminate an employer, it is important you seek legal advice. Contact Employment Lawyers Perth WA; they are a reputed firm that can provide you with the best lawyers to give advice during such times.

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