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Free employment agreement templates (Australia)

Find out how to write up an agreement to your exact specifications in just a few minutes. 

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Chances are that if you run a company or have a job you will have signed an "employment agreement". If not, you probably will come across this document in the future. Here's a detailed look at what exactly one is and where to get your hands on an employment agreement template.

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What is an employment agreement?

An employment agreement is used when an employee is being hired by a company or individual. The document sets out an employee's rights and obligations in the company including what is expected in their day-to-day role, promotion policies and holiday time. Essentially, it protects both parties from facing any legal issues further down the line.

There are several different types of employment agreements which are subtly different and should include different things. These include:

  • Full-time employment agreement
  • Part-time employment agreement
  • Casual employment agreement

When should I use an employment agreement?

An employment agreement is something that should be used when an employer is hiring a new employee, whether it be for full-time, part-time or casual work. Ideally, it should be written and signed by both parties before the employee's work start date.

What does an employment agreement letter include?

Other than the names and addresses of both the employee and employer, an employment agreement can be as basic or as detailed as required. Generally, it's understood that it will contain the basic duties and responsibilities of the employee's work.

What does a full-time employment agreement include?

Employment is considered to be full-time when an employee is offered continuous work that equates to around 38 hours per week. Full-time employment agreements are comprehensive documents that include:

  • Employee's job position and titles
  • Working hours
  • Salary and benefits
  • Superannuation
  • Probation notice, notice period and termination provisions
  • Confidentiality provisions
  • Intellectual property provision
  • Policies and procedures
  • Termination of employment

What does a part-time employment agreement include?

Part-time employment is employment where working hours are specified but do not amount to full-time hours (38 hours per week). Regular work should be offered with set hours each week, otherwise this is considered to be casual employment. A part-time employment agreement should include the following:

  • Employee's job title and position
  • Duties and obligations
  • Working hours
  • Term of employment
  • Remuneration and bonus schemes
  • Superannuation
  • Probation notice, notice period and termination provisions
  • Expenses and benefits
  • Policies and procedures
  • Termination of employment

What does a casual employment agreement include?

Casual employment is classified as a type of flexible employment that requires little commitment from both the employer and employee. Unlike other types of employment, a casual employee's hours are liable to change from week to week. Despite this, this type of work still requires a casual employment agreement to be signed by both parties. It should include, at the very least:

  • Employee's job title and position
  • General terms of employment
  • Payment terms (usually an hourly rate)
  • Possible hours of work
  • Superannuation
  • Termination of employment

Employment agreement vs enterprise agreement

Both an employment agreement and an enterprise agreement assist in setting out certain work policies and procedures. While an employment agreement takes place between an employer and a single employee, enterprise agreements take place between a single employer and many of its employees or a representative union. The latter agreement covers any changes such as rates of pay or employment conditions that can impact a group of employees.

How effective is an employment agreement?

It may come as a surprise to know that there is actually no legal necessity to have a written employment agreement in Australia. However, most employers choose to have one because they are effective in communicating rights and responsibilities in the workplace, workplace policies and procedures and generally letting everyone know where they stand. Entering into an employment agreement with an employee is seen as one of the most effective ways to reduce any disputes that may arise in the workplace.

Do I need a lawyer to write this document?

A lawyer does not need to write this document for you, though it's always a good idea to seek legal advice to make sure no important information has been left out. Employment agreement templates are always a good place to start if you're thinking about writing you own.

How do I write an employment agreement?

Employment agreements vary from industry to industry and from employee to employee, which means there's no one-size-fits-all solution. There are a few key bits of information you should make sure to include in your employment agreement, such as:

  • Names and addresses of the parties involved
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • An outline of the position's duties and responsibilities
  • Compensation policies including salary, holiday pay and any bonuses
  • Any other industry-related clauses

Employment agreement template from Lawpath

Employment agreements can be difficult documents to get right, especially as there are so many different types of employment in the world today. Sites, like the ones highlighted below, feature customisable employment agreement templates so you can create a contract that fits your company and employees the best.

  • Lawpath. Lawpath is an online legal resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Users can browse a free employment agreement template on their website but must sign up to access customisation options.
  • Law Depot. Law Depot provides a broad array of free online documents to choose from. Fill them in online, before downloading the documents straight to your computer.
  • LegalVision. LegalVision offers users unlimited use of free legal document templates, including several different types of employment agreements, for a monthly membership fee of $199.
  • Wonder Legal. Browse more than 140 legal document templates with Wonder Legal, all of which can be purchased for a one-time fee. Most legal templates are available for a small charge, but the employment agreement is completely free!

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