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No matter the size of your business, hiring a new full-time employee is an occasion worth documenting. You can formalise your new working relationship by drafting an employment agreement with details that include employee responsibilities, hours of work and rate of pay.
Read on for more information on when you should use an agreement, what to include and how to write your own.
What is an employment agreement (full time)?
An employment agreement (full time) is a contract establishing a formal relationship between an employer and a new full-time employee. It serves to clearly set out the rights and obligations of both the employee and the employer.
Download this template at Lawpath
When should I use an employment agreement (full time)?
You can use an employment agreement (full time) when hiring a new employee. Ideally, the document should be signed by both parties before the employee's start date.
Employment agreement vs enterprise agreement
An enterprise agreement is an optional agreement from an employer that sets out employment terms and conditions for a group of employees. The employment agreement, by comparison, is for an individual employee.
In Australia, enterprise agreements are commonly used by companies with a large number of employees which are industry or occupational specific. They can be used to set out the minimum employment conditions that apply to your business and employees.
What does an employment agreement (full time) include?
Employment agreements can differ depending on the industry and even the particular employee but there are a few key pieces of information that are usually included in a full-time employment agreement. These include:
- Employee's job position and titles
- Any additional benefits
- Working hours
- Annual leave entitlements
- Probation and notice period
- Confidentiality provisions
- Intellectual property provisions
- Policies and procedures
- Termination provisions
How effective is an employment agreement (full time)?
A well-drafted employment agreement clearly documents in writing the relationship between an employer and an employee. It ensures that the employment relationship starts on the right foot and can save time and money if a dispute arises.
Do I need a lawyer for an employment agreement (full time)?
No, you do not need a lawyer to prepare an employment agreement. Navigating Australia's complex labour and employment laws can pose a challenge for employers, though, so if your employment arrangements are complicated or you're just starting out, you should consider personalised advice from a lawyer.
An employment agreement template is a good place to start and a happy medium between going it alone and hiring a lawyer.
Get access to customisable employment agreement (full time) templates online
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How do I write an employment agreement (full time)?
An employment agreement doesn't need to be overly complicated and other than the names and addresses of the employee and employer, it can be as basic or as detailed as required. Generally, the agreement should cover the basic duties and responsibilities of the employee's work.
Here are some steps to follow when drafting an employment agreement for full-time employees:
- Look online for templates or sample agreements. There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to employment agreements, so do your research and find examples from similar businesses.
- Describe the duties of the position. Chances are you've already drafted a position description to advertise the role. This can serve as a skeleton for your agreement as it includes the essential duties of the position.
- Explain compensation and benefits. This can include how pay is calculated, if overtime is included, pay review periods, if commission applies and how and when the employee will receive their pay.
- Clarify the termination procedure. Detail how much notice you'll require if the employee decides to leave and on what grounds you can terminate the employment.
- Define non-competition terms. Employers can include a restraint of trade clause in an employment agreement to prevent a departing employee from working for a competing employer for a specified period. This could also include a clause against poaching of other employees and solicitation of clients.
- Think about confidentiality. If an employee will have access to proprietary information, you can also include a clause on how this information should be handled. To fully cover your business, consider a confidentiality agreement as well.
- Refer to any relevant policies and procedures. To keep your agreement succinct, you can make reference to important policies that fall under the conditions of employment including a Work Health and Safety policy and IT policy. These are often included in an employee handbook that is presented to a new starter.
Where to get free legal documents and templates like an employment agreement
Many legal templates are fully customisable and guide you through the process online before you download or print the final version. Here is a selection of websites that allow you to view or download an employment agreement (full time) template for free.
- Fair Work Ombudsman. The arm of the Australian government that's all about providing information and advice about employee's rights and obligations, the Fair Work Ombudsman provides a free employment agreement template for full-time employees.
- LawDepot. LawDepot offers a wide variety of online documents to choose from. You can complete them online and then download the documents straight to your computer.
- Lawpath. Lawpath is a legal resource just for entrepreneurs and small businesses where you can view free samples of legal documents. You'll have to sign-up to access customisation options but your first document is free.
- Legal Zebra. Access free PDF samples when you sign-up to Legal Zebra's marketing emails and customisable templates can be purchased for a one-time fee. Its employment agreement template is available on its own or as part of a bundle with a part-time and casual template.
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