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Employment Agreements – Ensuring they cover the basics

An employment agreement is a fundamental document providing protection and clarity for both, an employer and employee. It is crucial that these agreements encapsulate the important basics of any relationship.

This article sets out the different types of employment agreements, and some of the important terms all employers need to know about.

There are three main types of employment agreements, these include:

  • Permanent full-time or part-time
  • Casual
  • Fixed term

The basics, what are they?

From a legal perspective, there are certain clauses that must be incorporated into an individual employment agreement.  Additionally, there are clauses that can be added which help to ensure that each agreement is fit for purpose and aligns with the differing needs of the parties.

The law requires that an employment agreement contains the following:

  • The names of the parties
  • A description of the work that will be carried out by the employee, it is important that there is a clear expectation of the employee’s responsibilities are
  • Place of work
  • The agreed hours that the employee is expected to work, including start and end times, and specific days
  • The wage or salary rate (compliant with minimum wage or higher) with an indication of how and when this will be paid
  • How to resolve employment relationship issues, including that personal grievances must be raised within 90 days
  • Rest break times
  • That the employee will get paid time and a half for working on a public holiday
  • If applicable, an employment protection provision. This is necessary in cases where the employer’s business is sold/transferred, or if the employee’s work is contracted out
  • Any other matters that are agreed on between parties, including trial periods, probationary arrangements or availability. A 90-day trial can only be included for employers with 19 or less employees and must be in a signed agreement before employment commences
  • Nature of the employment

For many, employment agreements are seen as a “tick box” document that should be signed and put in a folder, never to be looked at again.  The best employment agreements embody the values of the employer and set a framework for a positive relationship, covering off all matters that need to be covered in the tricky times.

The Workplace Law team at McCaw Lewis are available to assist with drafting, reviewing, or answering any queries that you may have around employment agreements.  Get in touch now!

Tazmyn is a Law Clerk in our Workplace Team and can be contacted on


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