Employment Contracts

Employment contracts are the foundation of all employment relationships in Australia. The state and Commonwealth industrial relations systems build layers of rights, obligations and protections on top of the contract that often require certain terms and conditions to be included in contracts, but every workforce has its own dynamic and every employer should have its own set of contract documents that are tailored for its needs.

Our Insights

In our experience, the ideal form an employment contract should take for any given workforce will be influenced by at least:

  • whether the business operates for profit or not-for-profit;
  • whether the industry is covered by one or more modern awards;
  • the kind of culture that management intends to foster within the workforce;
  • the management or governance structure of the workplace; and
  • whether the relationship is a risk-allocating or risk-sharing model.

Each of these factors gives us insight into how the contract should be structured and how best to manage the risks and rewards inherent in the relationship. Employment contracts are not a mere transactional formality. They set the groundwork of values and expectations for a relationship of trust and confidence between employee and employer. We rely on the most cutting-edge knowledge in the field of industrial and relational contracting to prepare employment contracts that foster the most productive outcomes for your workplace.

How We Can Help You?

We can assist both employees and employers to negotiate and prepare new employment contracts and review existing contracts or terms for legal compliance. We recommend that you seek our advice if:

For Employees

  • you are negotiating a new contract with your employer;
  • you have any concerns about the fairness or legality of any terms of your contract;
  • you are leaving your employment and need assistance to understand your ongoing obligations;
  • you suspect your workplace rights may have been contravened in negotiating a contract or by its terms; or
  • that you may be covered by a modern award or other workplace instrument that gives you more advantageous protections than your contract.

For Employers

    • you have no written employment contracts in place or your existing contracts were drafted more than 4 years ago;
    • you have any trade secrets, know-how, intellectual property or other business interests that require protection by way of restrictive covenants;
    • you are in doubt as to whether any modern award or workplace instrument covers any of your employees; or
    • you have had a significant change in workplace culture, management structure, the market you operate in or the direction of your business since your last set of contracts was drafted.

     To speak to us about your employment contracts, or if the time has come to review your contracts for legal compliance, please contact our office.

Complete our contact form to arrange an appointment with our Employment and Industrial Law team.