Employers have obligations to have employment agreements that comply with the law … but from a practical business operator point of view there are very serious business disruptions, time and financial, that can flow from getting them wrong.

Here are 6 key points for employers:

  1. All of your employees must have a written agreement.
  2. The agreement must specify:
    • The names of the employee and employer.
    • Where the work is to be performed.
    • The hours of work.
    • The employee’s pay.
    • The services available to resolve disputes.
    • The 90 day limit for personal grievances.
    • A clause specifying time and a half and a day in lieu when an employee has to work on a public holiday
    • A clause dealing with negotiations with a new employer if the business is restructured or sold.
  3. Holidays must be specified in weeks not days and remain until they are taken. Y ou must not state that they are forfeited if untaken.
  4. Sick leave is a minimum of 5 days per year and can accumulate up to 20 days.
  5. If you wish to be able to take certain steps such as pay in lieu of notice or suspend pending a disciplinary investigation these must be specified in the agreement.
  6. You must advise employees that they have the right to obtain independent advice and give them a reasonable opportunity to do so.  It is a good idea to set out in the agreement that those steps have been done to avoid later argument.

Getting your employment agreements right is just the first step.  Dealing properly with employees as a fair and reasonable employer also extends to other issues such as performance reviews and disciplinary investigations.  See our free guidelines to assist you with these processes.