Drafting an Employment Agreement is extremely important for establishing the relationship between the employer and the employees. It is not only useful for defining the position and duties of the role; it also imposes certain rules and obligations on both parties in accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009.

‘Position and duties’  refers to the role that the employee will undertake and the tasks that make up that role. When drafting this clause into the agreement, there are several provisions that will need to be included. It is always recommended that legal advice from an employment lawyer or contract lawyer be sought so that the terms and conditions of the agreement are drafted correctly.

What are the important provisions of the ‘position and duties’ clause?

  • Firstly, the start date should be detailed so that there is absolutely no confusion as to when the new employee is expected to commence work;
  • Detail the type of employment that will be undertaken, i.e. part time/full time/casual etc;
  • It is always important to include the name of the manager or supervisor to which the new employee will be reporting. This ensures there is no confusion as to who reports to whom;
  • Explain what the duties of the position will be and draft this provision in general terms. This will allow other duties to be tacked onto this non-exhaustive list, provided the additional duties are reasonable, having regard to the new employee’s skills, expertise and experience; and
  • Have the business lawyer include the location of the workplace. Also, if there is any chance of off-site work being conducted, draft this into the provision.

Is a Probation clause necessary?

Sometimes you might want a business lawyer to draft a probationary period into the employment agreement. This occurs when the employment is subject to the satisfactory completion of a certain number of months working in the role. It is an opportunity for the skills and expertise of the new employee to be assessed over the probation period. The progress and performance of the new employee will normally determine whether or not the business will choose to keep employing the individual. If this is the case, make sure you have your lawyer draft a Letter of Termination of Employment.

In the event that either you, as employer, or the new employee chooses to end the employment during the probation period, the employment agreement will usually dictate the manner in which this occurs. Speak with a business lawyer about the different notice periods for terminating an employment agreement during a probation period.

Conclusion

As an employer, you should take very seriously the drafting of your business’ employment agreements. It is very important that both you and the new employee understand each other’s expectations. For employment law advice, or assistance in drafting an employment contract, contact LegalVision on 1300 544 755. Our employment lawyers are ready to assist you with any employment-related legal concerns.

Lachlan McKnight

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