Employment Contracts – Crucial for setting out expectations for both Employer and Employee

One big issue I often come across when performing consulting services for small to medium sized businesses is that when taking on an employee they do not have a standard employment contract.  Often employment will be engaged by either a short offer of employment letter (with very little detail) or it is dealt with verbally.

Whilst 90% of the time there are no issues, usually when I am called in there are employee performance issues or a workplace culture issue.  What ends up happening is the employee advises the ‘weren’t aware’ of the employer’s expectations or processes. Whilst there is an onus on the employee to understand requirements particularly in relation to workplace bullying, harassment etc etc this is in relation to legislation and they should be advised where they are able to access this information (Fair Work Ombudsman etc).  However putting in place a standard employment contract for each new employee that the Organisation brings on board, many of these issues no longer exist.  As a standard, I would suggest a Employment Contract which includes the following:

Position
Reporting Relationship
Location
Remuneration
Method of Payment
Key Performance Indicators (if applicable)
Superannuation
Confidentiality
Date of Commencement of Contract
Hours of Work
Leave
Annual Leave
Sick Leave
Long Service Leave
Additional Leave
Termination
The Company’s right to terminate
Termination by either party
Confidentiality (Termination)
Information Security
Ethical Business Conduct
Ownership of Intellectual Property
Motor Vehicles (if applicable)
Mobile Telephones (if applicable)
Information Technology and Internet Usage
Severance of Contract Conditions
Personal Belongings
Policies and Procedures
Dress Standards
Health and Safety
Employment Aids
Change of Address
Alterations to Terms and Conditions
Anti-Discrimination & Equal Employment Opportunity
Accuracy of Information
APPENDIX 1 – POSITION DESCRIPTION
APPENDIX 2 – Conditions of Use of Organisation Name Motor Vehicle (if applicable)
APPENDIX 3 – Conditions of Use of Organisation Name Mobile Phones(if applicable)
APPENDIX 4 – Conditions of Use of Organisation Name Information Technology and Internet.

Whilst this may look quite overwhelming to start thinking about, once you have your template you are able to implement quite easily.  The benefits to both the Employer and the Employee are huge with the Employee having a clear understanding of Employer expectations, what policies, procedures are in place, rules around what is acceptable and what is not acceptable and what the process will be for any breaches or poor performance episodes.  The Employer benefits by having employees that are very clear about their role, Organisation norms and expectations.

Never underestimate the value of a clear and in-depth employment contract for both your business protection and the employee clarity of the role they are commencing.  Where employer’s do not have these in place a process can be undertaken of implementing them for current employee’s – this should be done as part of a education process for current employee’s – using it as a tool to explain their responsibilities.

If you have identified that your business does not utilise employment contracts or if your current employment contracts do not cover all areas, contact MLG Consulting today for a no obligation consult.  MLG Consulting has developed a range of employment contract templates which cover both full-time and casual employees as well as also catering where employees attract commission as part of their remuneration.  MLG Consulting has also developed a range of Policy/Procedure Templates that can also be easily implemented in your business.

Don’t delay or wait for a issue to occur – Start the process today, contact MLG Consulting on 0422143543.

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