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Part-time employment contracts

Get your new starter across the ins and outs of their new role with a robust contract.

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Taking on a new member of staff can be both an exciting and challenging time for a business. With lots to consider, it can be a big weight off to get the legal admin out of the way. That's where a Part-time employment contract comes into play.

Use this guide to help you write your own agreement including what to include, when to use one and where to find free templates online.

What is a Part-time employment contract?

A Part-time employment contract is an agreement between an employer and an employee working part-time hours that sets out terms and conditions of employment. Generally, a part-time employee is one that works less than 38 hours per week on average.

part time employment agreement template from Lawpath

Download this template at Lawpath

When should I use a Part-time employment contract?

A part-time employment contract ought to be used before you hire a new employee on a part-time basis. The document should be reviewed, signed and dated by both parties before the employee's commencement date.

Part-time employment contract vs Enterprise agreement

An Enterprise (or Workplace) Agreement is a statement of reciprocal rights and responsibilities agreed between a group of employees and an employer. A Part-time employment contract, on the other hand, is an agreement between a single employee and the employer.

Enterprise Agreements are commonly found at companies with a large number of employees and allow employers to set employment conditions tailored to their business and industry. Enterprise Agreements are also used to define the minimum employment conditions that apply to your business and employees.

What does a Part-time employment contract include?

Like any good employment contract, a part-time agreement will spell out what exactly you expect the employee to do and what they can expect from you.

Contracts can differ depending on the industry, but there are a few key pieces of information that are usually included in a Part-time employment contract. These include:

  • A clear job description
  • Standard working hours
  • Salary
  • Superannuation
  • Any additional benefits
  • Leave entitlements

How effective is a Part-time employment contract?

When carefully drafted, a Part-time employment contract is very effective as it clearly documents the relationship between an employee and an employer. By outlining the terms of employment in a clear way, it'll protect all parties if there's a disagreement on anything from pay to working hours.

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Do I need to enlist the help of a lawyer?

Lawyers are not technically required to write up a Part-time employment contract, but they can be very useful. If you want added peace of mind that you've created a legally-sound document, you might consider legal advice. It could be an especially good idea if your employment arrangements are complicated or, say, you're hiring a more senior member of staff.

How do I write a Part-time employment contract?

There's no need for an employment contract to become a lengthy or overly complicated document. However, there are some key elements that need to be included. Your overall aim when writing this type of agreement is to cover the core duties and responsibilities of the employee's work.

Here are some steps to follow when drafting the contract:

  • Look online for samples and templates. Every business is unique which means your employment contract needs won't necessarily fit squarely in any given template. Do your research, find customisable template examples from similar businesses and seek legal counsel if you're unsure about what to include in yours.
  • Detail the employee's core duties. If you've drafted a position description to advertise the role, this can be useful to refer to as it includes the essential duties of the position.
  • Define the salary and benefits. This can include pay for part-time hours, pay review periods and how the employee will be paid.
  • Clarify the termination procedure. Describe how much notice is required if the employee leaves the business and on what grounds you can terminate the employment.
  • List any non-competition clauses. A restraint of trade clause can be used to prevent a departing employee from working with a competing employer up to a specified period of time. Besides non-competition, this could include a clause against solicitation of clients and poaching of other employees.
  • Think about confidentiality. You can also include a clause on the appropriate use of proprietary information. To fully cover your business, consider a Confidentiality Agreement as well.
  • Use attachments. To avoid unnecessary complexity, supplemental documents such as a Work Health and Safety policy and IT policy can be presented in a form of an attachment. These often form part of an employee handbook that's presented to new starters.
  • LawDepot. LawDepot provides a slew of online documents including a Part-time Employment Contract. Answer a few questions and then you can download and print your tailored document instantly.
  • Lawpath. A legal resource for entrepreneurs and small businesses, Lawpath allows you to view free samples of legal documents. Your first document is free and then you'll have to sign-up to access customisation options.
  • Legal Zebra. Sign-up to Legal Zebra's marketing emails and you can access free PDF samples. Customisable templates can be purchased for a one-time fee including a Part-time Employment Agreement template.
  • The Fair Work Ombudsman. The government's independent statutory agency is all about providing advice and information about employee's rights and obligations. Its website offers a range of employment templates.

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