Employment law

Employee agreement
Employee agreement
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Draft a standard employment contract for new hires as well as existing employees in your business.

Employee Share Scheme (ESS)
Employee Share Scheme (ESS)
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Setting up an Employee Share Scheme (ESS) to incentivise employees for loyalty and strong performances.

Workers compensation
Workers compensation
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Assessing and managing all aspects of workers compensation claim by employees.

Fair Work Act
Fair Work Act
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Adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements of the Fair Work Act.

Anti-discrimination Act
Anti-discrimination Act
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Legal considerations when employing staff and protecting employees in adherence to Anti-discrimation Act.

Employment lawyer

If you are looking to employ staff of any kind, you need to understand your obligations. The more employees you have, the more onerous and complicated your responsibilities will be. Human resources professionals can assist you in meeting your obligations when hiring, firing and managing your staff.

What do I need to consider during the hiring process?

There are a number of legal issues that can arise when advertising for a position, interviewing applicants and hiring staff to your business.

First and foremost, it is illegal to discriminate against job applicant on the bases of sex, race, pregnancy, age, disability, political belief or any other protected attribute. The protected attributes vary from state to state. The criteria used to vet applicants and make a hiring decision must be consistent and cannot have discriminatory requirements.

You do not have to offer employment in writing, however a written offer signed by the employee and employer is strongly recommended. The offer should include the date of hiring, the position, the wages and benefits and any other details which aren’t set out in the Fair Work Act.

What should I consider when drafting an employment contract?

You must ensure you have read and understood the Fair Work Act prior to creating an employment contract. When crafting an employment contract, you must be aware of the minimum standards and conditions set out in the act, and ensure that your offer (and the subsequent contract) meets those minimums. There are ten employment standards you must adhere to in regards to:

  • Hours of work
  • Requests for flexible working arrangements
  • Annual leave
  • Personal/carer's leave
  • Compassionate leave
  • Community service leave
  • Public holidays
  • Unpaid parental leave
  • Paid parental leave
  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay

You must also provide Fair Work Information Statements to employees when requested.

The basic terms of an employment contract include the duration of employment, the position, the duties included, the probationary period (if applicable), remuneration and bonuses, other benefits and entitlements, leave of all kinds, superannuation contributions, terms of termination, protection of employee information and post-termination restrictions (if any).

What happens if I breach any of my legal responsibilities?

If you fail to meet your obligations, your employees may report you to the Fair Work Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will offer your employees the information and assistance to determine if their rights have in fact been breached, and if you are found to have failed in meeting the minimum standards required of you there can be strict penalties. These penalties depend entirely on the type of breach you commit. For example, unfair dismissal will result in either reinstatement of the dismissed employee or compensation. On the other hand, if you fail to meet your superannuation obligations on behalf of your employees, you may find yourself liable for the unpaid amount, plus interest and a financial penalty.

Ensuring you have legal counsel when drafting employment contracts and creating your internal management processes is the best way to ensure that you do not breach your obligations. Human resources professionals can also assist you in the day-to-day management of your workforce.