Australia Employment Contracts

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Employment Contracts in Australia

How do you hire Employees in Australia?

Bradford Jacobs’ Professional Employer Organization (PEO) specialists will help you locate new staff. You interview the best candidates and make your selection. These are the first steps for foreign companies expanding into Australia, before starting the onboarding process to place them on your payroll by drawing up contracts and agreements.

Although there is no legal requirement to provide a written contract, these are some of the factors that can be considered:

• Confirm the appointment in writing

• A copy of the Fair Work information sheet should be given to the employee, obtained from

• Copies of company policies covering conduct, confidentiality, social media, role and responsibilities, health and safety, for example

• All Australian employees should have a contract/agreement (written or unwritten) under common law, detailing terms and conditions

• Contracts are subject to government laws and, in some cases, state legislation

• Individual contracts may be subject to existing workplace agreements, which should exceed minimum limits under National Employment Standards

• Check the prospective employee is not subject to a ‘non-compete’ clause with a previous employee

Types of Employment Contracts in Australia?

Written contracts between employer and employee are preferable and advisable, although it is not a legal requirement. Contracts cannot be for less than the minimum standards set out under National Employment Standards (NES), ‘Modern Awards’ or collective and enterprise agreements.

The three most common employment contracts cover:

• Open-ended, full-time, usually specifying between 38 and 40 hours per week. Typically, they detail terms and conditions of employment covering such as holidays, termination and severance for example

• Fixed-term, usually for a particular project

• Contracts can also cover part-time, casual and shift workers, apprentices and trainees and those on a probationary period

What Employment Laws exist in Australia?

The Fair Work Act (2009) and National Employment Standards (NES) are the main factors governing employment law in Australia. Federal, state and territorial regulations can add to these with their own interpretations of applicable legislation. ‘Modern award’ and enterprise agreements can apply to individual workplaces and companies. Australia’s Human Rights Act also enforces other considerations.

Written contracts are not required by law. Legislation covers the following, for example:

• The national minimum wage of AU$753.80 (US$586) per week for full-time employees, based on AU$19.84 (US$15.44) per hour

• A minimum of four weeks paid vacation per year

• Paternity Leave Pay (PLP) funds employees on maternity leave, which is for 18 weeks including a continuous period of 12 weeks, plus 30 days’ flexible leave agreed with their employer

• Employers must give staff written confirmation of the final working day if planning to terminate employment. Notice periods depend on age and length of service

• Severance includes outstanding pay, bonuses and pay in lieu of notice and other entitlements that may apply

• Working hours are limited to 38 hours per week or 7.6 hours per day

• Australia’s Human Rights Act legislates against discrimination based on race or color, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy or potential pregnancy, religious or political beliefs, nationality or social origin.

How do you Onboard Australian Employees internationally?

The most efficient and cost-effective method of onboarding employees into Australia is through a global recruitment company such as Bradford Jacobs.

Transferring existing staff from abroad requires compliance with strict and protracted procedures to obtain visas and work permits. Making mistakes risks sanctions, wasting time and money and with the likelihood the employee will not be allowed to start work. Sourcing and recruiting staff in Australia takes a detailed knowledge of this highly-competitive employment market – Bradford Jacobs have the knowledge to build this preferred route for your expansion into Australia.

Our Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR) solutions manage every stage of the process from finding the employee to seeing their first check is paid on time. The result? Your new employees are quickly operational as part of a team making their mark in your new territory.

Bradford Jacobs’ recruitment specialists will guide you and your employees through every step of onboarding into the Australian economy. From talent acquisition, to the complexities of employment legislation, payroll and tax, Bradford Jacobs tick all the compliance boxes. In addition, our human resources consultants will see your employee blends with workplace culture and etiquette to quickly become productive – and happy.