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Over a recent two-week period, Employsure advisers answered over 10,000 calls and emails from concerned employers seeking advice on how to best handle their employee concerns.
From this, we gained some fantastic insight into what has been at the forefront of employers minds and have identified the top five issues employers may currently be facing.
Top five concerns
The number one query, terms and conditions relating to employment contracts, was by far the largest volume of calls received, at 38.5%. With this in mind, we would like to help you by identifying some key aspects to think about when constructing or reviewing your contracts.
Terms and conditions of employment contracts
The relationship between you and your employee depends on the nature of an employment contract. This contract is a legally binding agreement and outlines the terms and conditions of your working relationship. The specifics included in your contracts must be in-line with the National Employment Standards (NES) or awards, enterprise agreements and any other registered agreement. Please note, any other agreement must be approved and registered with the Fair Work Commission. If an employee has not signed a contract, they are still covered by the NES.
While it is best practice to have a written contract signed by the employee and a witnesses, Fair Work legislation does also permit a verbal agreement. It is however, important to recognise that some awards do require employers to advise employees in writing about some conditions such as employment status or hours of work.
In any employment situation, we highly recommend drawing up employment contracts as they clearly outline the basis of your relationship, along with the rights and obligations of each party, therefore cementing understanding and alleviating confusion.
Here are some items you should consider including in your employment contracts.
– Both your name as the employer and the employees name
– The job title of the employee
– The agreed commencement date for employment, and in the instance of a fixed term contract, an end date
– The basis of employment such as full-time, part-time or casual
– The place of work
– The hours of work
– The agreed rate of pay and how this is to be made up
– Details of any probation period
– The amount of notice required to be given by both employer and employee in the event employment ends, along with any restrictions that may apply
– Annual leave and other leave entitlements
– Redundancy information
– Confidentiality requirements
– Details surrounding intellectual property
Employment contracts are important for many reasons but mainly, they provide the support required when discussing rights, duties, promises and agreements, or if a dispute arises. In the event of a dispute, first consider and review the inclusions of the contract and address the issue accordingly. Bear in mind, if you are in breach of any terms outlined within your contract, you are predisposed to legal action.
Avoid confusion when developing your employment contracts. Employsure is Australia’s leading specialist in workplace relations, helping over 8,000 Australian businesses, across varying industries, fine tune and implement contracts, policies and procedures and other workplace documents. Call us today on 1300 651 415 to see how we can assist you.