An employment contract is an agreement between the employer and employee, which sets out the terms and conditions of employment. Whilst it is technically possible for a legally binding employer-employee relationship to exist and be premised on a verbal arrangement, reducing the parties’ relationship into writing provides a clear framework against which their interactions may be governed. Essentially, it takes the guesswork out of determining precisely what each party’s rights and responsibilities are. This is the primary benefit of having an employment contract.

The National Employment Standards or NES

It is impermissible for employers to offer terms of employment to prospective or existing workers, which fall short of the minimum safety net of entitlements established by the National Employment Standards or NES. The scheme sets out ten minimum workplace entitlements, which touch upon; working arrangements, leave entitlements, termination, redundancy and access to information. Propagated under legislation and enforced by various state and national bodies, should an employment contract breach the NES terms, it may be found invalid in whole or in part. Accordingly, a Business Coach must first and foremost acquaint themselves with the standards, if they hope to have a successful and legally binding relationship with their workers.

But what about the contract’s content?

As a Business Coach, you are entrusted with the sacred duty of making businesses focus on ‘their game’. You may be providing sales, marketing, management, team-building and even mentoring services. The type of services you provide will largely dictate the content of your employment contracts. Nevertheless, certain aspects of employment permeate every working relationship and should be addressed under the same.

First and foremost, the employment contract should set out the terms of engagement under which an employee is hired. It should clearly detail all the relevant parties’ rights and responsibilities under the contract and should provide a mechanism under which disputes can be resolved.

Your coaching mantra and philosophy will undoubtedly give rise to a myriad of innovative plans, materials, documents, tools and may even put you in touch with key industry players. As such, it is essential that terms touching upon the non-disclosure of confidential information, the solicitation of clients and employees and intellectual property rights form part of the document. Such safeguards will place restrictions on the use of your business tools and client contacts, thereby ensuring that you continue to grow your business without the threat of having your processes and contacts usurped by an employee for their own benefit.

Post-employment concerns

As the business environment continues to evolve and give rise to countless new and exciting opportunities, workers will undoubtedly continue to explore their employment options. Accordingly, it is of vital importance that an employment contract not only detail and regulate the life of the working relationship between employer and employee, but that it also identify responsibilities which continue to subsist post employment. Even when a working relationship comes to an end of amicable terms, there may be confusion as to what an employee can or cannot do with the knowhow they have gained. Anti-competition restrictions in conjunction with termination procedures are of particular value here.

Conclusion

If you require legal assistance in drafting or reviewing your employment contracts, get in touch with LegalVision today on 1300 544 755. Our employment lawyers are ready to provide you with a fixed-fee quote and an obligation-free consultation.

Adi Snir

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