Understanding the Terms and Conditions of Employment

What makes employment agreements so important is that they protect both employee and employer. An employment contract should outline the terms and conditions of employment, including factors such as remuneration, hours, entitlements, and leave. They also state what will happen if the employee is made redundant or resigns. It is recommended that a detailed employment contract is provided to all staff upon commencing a role. By clearly describing the expectations and requirements of employee and employer, both parties are protected.

Staff should Understand the Terms and Conditions of Employment

An employment agreement should clearly outline the nature of the employment relationship. Although it can be written or verbal, it is strongly recommended to provide staff with a written contract. This maximises the chances of them clearly understanding the terms and conditions of employment. In turn, this minimises the possibility of disputes over employment conditions. 

An employment agreement can differ depending on several factors. These can include things such as business industry, employment status, the applicable award that covers staff, and so on. It is crucial that businesses provide staff with an appropriate contract, that clearly states the terms and conditions of employment.

Broadly speaking, a written agreement can help employers achieve three key goals:

  1. Help both management and staff understand employee rights, roles, and minimum conditions;
  2. Help new and existing employees perform their duties by clearly describing what is expected of them;
  3. Help the business operate efficiently, by providing staff with confidentiality and behavioural standards they must comply with.

This not only develops a clear understanding of employee expectations, but it can also protect the business. For example, some staff may behave in a manner that severely violates the terms and conditions of employment. In this event, the contract will outline what action can be taken.

Workplace Wizards can help develop Employment Contracts

While many businesses understand the importance of a comprehensive employment contract, some struggle with developing one. Nevertheless, companies should provide staff with a standard employment contract that meets national employment standards. It should also address the full terms and conditions of employment, and businesses should ensure that employees understand them. 

Workplace Wizards’ consultants have years of experience in reviewing, drafting, and developing comprehensive, legally defensible, employment contracts. We can help businesses create detailed, compliant employment contracts, which clearly state:

  • The full position description, including working hours, stated duties, whether the role offers flexible working arrangements, and so on. Businesses not providing this increases the chances of employee disputes, by claiming a set task falls outside their designated duties;
  • Remuneration and hours of work. What employees are paid will vary depending on their industry, work type, and other pertinent matters. For example, casual employees are typically paid by the hour, meaning that if they work overtime they get remunerated accordingly. An employment contract should clearly state remuneration conditions, minimising potential disagreements over hours;
  • Staff code of conduct and non-disclosure obligations. For example, many staff are active on social media outside of work hours. Businesses that work with confidential information usually have a policy about not discussing work matters on social media. An employment contract should clearly outline expected staff behaviour, and what action may be taken to address serious misconduct;
  • Paid leave entitlements, unpaid leave, pandemic leave, working from home policies, and so on;
  • Post employment restraints. This clearly outlines what actions a former employee is restricted from taking, over a specified period, upon concluding their employment. This could include contacting former clients or asking a former colleague to come work with them at a competitor.

By clearly describing the terms and conditions of employment in writing, businesses are developing an informed, supportive work environment. Furthermore, an employment contract can also protect a company from unfair dismissal claims.

Contact Workplace Wizards for Expert Advice

Employers contact Workplace Wizards for help with several employment contract matters. They may want help ensuring that they are meeting their legal and modern award obligations. Some companies want assistance in developing a fair contract for staff. Others want assurance that the employment contract reflects the business’s best interests regarding confidentiality, disciplinary procedures, and so on. 

For a quick, no-obligation consultation about how we can help your business with this matter, call Workplace Wizards today on 03 9087 6949 today or email at support@workplacewizards.com.au. We can answer your queries, explain the particulars of employment contracts, and discuss what actions your business could be taking. We can also advise on other relevant matters, including enterprise agreements, and complying with the Fair Work Act 2009. We look forward to discussing these matters with you.

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Mark Ritchie

Mark Ritchie

Mark is passionate about helping Australian businesses efficiently resolve their industrial relations issues. Mark has demonstrated proficiency advising managers, executives and boards of small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as some of Australia’s best-known companies, on both litigious and non-litigious matters.

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