5 things you need to know about Employment Contract Drafting
- The first step in employment contract drafting is to work out whether the employee’s role is covered by a Fair Work Australia award. You can research this on the Fair Work Australia website. Your employment lawyer will also be able to assist you with this.
- Your lawyer will then draft the necessary employment contract. Employment law is a specialised area of the law. A well-drafted employment contract covers a range of matters including salary, superannuation, annual leave, probation periods, long service leave and confidentiality. Other matters that should be covered include ownership of intellectual property that the employee creates, termination of employment, and obligations on termination including non-compete, non-poaching of staff and non-interference with business relationships.
- You need to give employees your policies and procedures. These are generally set out in an employee handbook. An employee handbook sets out a business’s policies on issues such as internet use, social media use, sexual and racial harassment, workplace bullying, drug use, and more. It is important to have these policies in place, and to inform your employees of them, first to promote correct conduct, and second as a defence if one of your employees breaches the law or a policy. You need to show that your business is not liable because you had policies in place and had trained your staff on these policies.
- Make sure that the employment contract and the employee handbook work together. This is very important. If the two documents don’t fit together this can lead to confusion and potential disputes.
- Finally, it’s important to remember that an employment contract doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Work with a lawyer who values plain English documentation, so the rights and obligations are clear to both parties.
Ursula Hogben Key Focus:
Commercial Law, Contract Law, Information Technology And Online Law, Intellectual Property, Capital Raising LawExperience:
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Baker & McKenzie, Hogben Group