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Employment agreements

Good employment relationships begin with a good recruitment process that ensures everyone has clear expectations about the role, working conditions and employment rights.

A clearly written employment agreement can help reduce the risk of misunderstandings.

Every employee must have a written employment agreement. This can be either an individual agreement or a collective agreement. Collective employment agreements are negotiated in good faith between an employer and a registered union on behalf of their members. Employers must not unduly influence employees to join or not join a union.

From 1 July 2011, employers are required to retain a signed copy of the employment agreement or the current signed terms and conditions of employment.  The employer must retain the “intended agreement” even if the employee has not signed it. Employees are entitled to a copy on request.

There are some provisions that must be included in employment agreements by law, and there are also a number of minimum conditions that must be met regardless of whether they are included in agreements. Employment law also provides a framework for negotiating additional entitlements.