The relationship between Employer and Employee is governed by an Employment Contract. Even if a written contract is not prepared, or the written contract is inadequate, minimum terms and conditions of employment are implied by law to govern the relationship, such as the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and other state and federal laws. Further terms and conditions may be contained in modern awards, agreements, national wage orders and various transitional instruments.
Employment laws have undergone significant changes over the past number of years and may continue to evolve and be modified by government. It is therefore important to know where you stand right from the start. A properly drawn Employment Contract should make it clear to both parties what their respective rights and obligations are. This should also minimise the potential for disputes between the parties when the Employment Contract is to be brought to an end.
Employers particularly need to ensure they are complying with all applicable employment laws as the Fair Work Ombudsman is quite active in prosecuting claims and seeking fines against Employers for breaches of the law.
Employees and Employers should be aware of the application and effect of any restraint of trade clauses that might be included in the Employment Contract as well.
If you would like to discuss this or other issues that might arise in the context of your employment or organisation, please contact our Employment Law team.