Employment terms and conditions

Industrial awards

An industrial award is a legally binding document that outlines the wages and conditions of employment for groups of employees in an industry or occupation, for example, the Western Australian Hairdressers Award 1989.  Generally, employers cannot provide conditions of employment that would be less favourable than award conditions.

Western Australian awards are made by the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission. Traditionally, Commonwealth awards are made by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Employer-employee agreements

An association may be eligible to make use of an individual agreement known as an ‘Employer-Employee Agreement’ (EEA). This is a voluntary written agreement between an employer and employee, which forms the basis of the contract between the two parties.

There are a number of requirements that must be met and an EEA must be registered with the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Common law contract of employment

Common law contracts are individual agreements between an employer and an employee. It is important to note that:

  • the terms of any relevant award or collective agreement will still apply even if when not written into the contract; and
  • the contract must comply with the minimum conditions imposed by the applicable State and Commonwealth legislation.

Common law contracts may useful where there is no award that applies to the employees. Labour Relations also provides information about developing a common law contract.