An employment contract is an important document that details the terms and conditions of employment.
Once made, the terms of the employment contract can only be varied by agreement between the employer and the employee.
As a minimum, all employment contracts should contain terms confirming:
It’s important that employment contracts are set up correctly.
Many employees are covered by either an award or an enterprise agreement (depending on their industry and occupation).
In most situations, as an employer you cannot ‘contract out’ of coverage of an enterprise agreement or an award. Instead, the employment contract can be used to supplement the conditions in the relevant award or enterprise agreement.
Some awards and enterprise agreements allow employers to vary certain provisions of the award or enterprise agreement, with the consent of the employee. In those circumstances, there will usually be a requirement that any such agreement means the employee will be “better off overall” after entering into the agreement.
The National Employment Standards, set out in the Fair Work Act 2009, apply to all employees of private enterprises. An employer cannot ‘contract out’ of the obligations contained in the National Employment Standards.
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