An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and an employee that sets out the rights and obligations of both parties. LegalVision provides six employment contracts. It can be difficult to work out which employment contract to use. This document sets out the circumstances in which you should use each of the employment contracts.

1.   Is the Employee Covered by an Award?

The first step in working out which employment contract to use for a particular employee is to work out whether the employee is covered by an award.

The Fair Work Commission is Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal.  The Fair Work Commission has a range of functions relating to, amongst other things, termination of employment and other workplace matters.  The Fair Work Commission hears cases about unfair dismissal, transfer of business, enterprise bargaining and industrial action.

One of the Fair Work Commission’s key roles is to set awards. An award is an enforceable document which contains the minimum terms and conditions of employment of particular types of employees, in addition to any legislated minimum terms. In general, an award applies to employees in a particular industry or occupation and is used as a benchmark for assessing enterprise agreements before approval.

You should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman in order to work out whether a particular employee is covered by an award. The online tool ‘Award Finder’ on the Fair Work Ombudsman website http://www.fairwork.gov.au/awards/how-to-find-an-award/pages/default.aspx is very effective. Alternatively, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 if you remain unsure.

If you determine that a particular employee will be covered by an award, note down details of the award, classification and minimum salary payable under the award as you will need these details to complete the LegalVision Employment Contract. You must ensure that you pay an award employee not less than the minimum salary payable under the award to avoid being in breach of the Fair Work Act.

If your employee is covered by an award, you should use “Employment Contract – Full Time Award”, “Employment Contract – Part Time Award” or “Employment Contract – Casual Award”.

If your employee is not covered by an award, you should use “Employment Contract – Full Time Non-Award”, “Employment Contract – Part Time Non-Award” or “Employment Contract – Casual Non-Award”.

2.   Are you Employing a Full-Time, Part-Time or Casual Employee?

The next question to answer when working out which employment contract to use is whether you intend to hire your employee on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. This is ultimately a business decision.

The rights of an employee hired under a full-time or part-time contract are generally more extensive than those of a casual employee. As casual employees are not entitled to paid leave and other benefits, they are generally paid on an hourly basis.

Conclusion

Working out which employment contract to use is a two stage process. Once you have worked out whether your new employee will be covered by an award, and whether you wish to employ them on a full-time, part-time or casual basis, you will be in a position to select the relevant LegalVision Employment Contract and complete the relevant questionnaire.

Lachlan McKnight

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