When an employer offers someone a job, an employment contract is being entered into. This is a legal relationship under which both the employer and the employee have rights and obligations.
Generally an employment contract is made between the employer and a new employee when:
- there is an offer of employment, verbally or in writing and the offer is accepted by the employee
- each party has accepted an obligation to perform his or her part of the agreement, and the employee will receive a regular wage and generally other entitlements such as leave and superannuation payments in return for working
- the employee will perform work under the direction of the employer and will work the hours determined by the employer
- the employer is responsible for making income tax deductions for the employee.
Detailing employment conditions in writing
There is no requirement to have a written employment contract with an employee, but it is good business practice and very useful to have in writing what has been agreed between employer and employee about pay, hours and other conditions. If there is ever a dispute, it is difficult to prove what was agreed without something in writing.
If a written employment document is created, information on the employee’s pay and conditions and other issues relevant to the workplace should be included.
What should be included in an employment contract?
The What to include in an employment contract page highlights key information which could be included.
Before an employment contract is prepared, the employer must ensure they are aware of what legal obligations they have to the employee – in particularly whether the employee is covered by a WA award and what pay rates and other obligations that WA award requires are provided.
WA awards are legal documents that outline the wages and conditions of employment for groups of employees in a particular industry or class of work. If no WA award applies, the minimum wage rates for award free employees and minimum leave obligations set out in the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act apply.
Have you checked whether a WA award applies?
Not implementing the right employment conditions could prove costly for both employers and employees.