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Things an agreement must contain

Employment agreements must have certain clauses. Additional clauses should be agreed which suit the needs of the organisation and the employee.

The individual employment agreement must include:

  • the names of the employer and the employee (to make clear who are the parties to the agreement)
  • a description of the work to be performed (to make clear what the employee is expected to do)
  • an indication of the place of work
  • the agreed hours or an indication of the hours that the employee will work
  • the wage rate or salary payable (must be equal or greater than the relevant minimum wage) and how it will be paid (if the employee won’t be paid in cash, this should be in the employment agreement or must be agreed in writing somewhere else)
  • a plain explanation of how to help resolve employment relationship problems including advice that personal grievances must be raised within 90 days
  • a statement that the employee will get (at least) time-and-a-half payment for working on a public holiday
  • for relevant employees, an employment protection provision to apply if the employer’s business is sold or transferred, or if the employee’s work is contracted out
  • any other matters agreed on, such as trial periods, probationary arrangements, or availability provisions
  • the nature of the employment if the employment is fixed-term.

Some things (like rest and meal breaks, or 4 weeks’ annual holidays) do not need to be in the employment agreement but the employer must still provide them by law. If an employee and employer agree to better terms and conditions than minimum rights, these should be recorded in the employment agreement.

The Rest and meal breaks page has information about paid and unpaid breaks for employees.

An employment agreement can contain any other terms and conditions that the employee and employer have agreed to, for example, the notice period required for resignation and termination, a trial period provision, an availability provision, whether the employee can be made to work on a public holiday, or an annual closedown.

Employers need to think carefully about the needs of the business before they draft an employment agreement. For example, if there’s a possibility that they may need to cancel an employee’s shift, then the reasonable compensation and period of notice for this needs to be in the employment agreement.

What an employment agreement can include

[image] What an employment agreement must include [PDF 703KB]

Our employment agreement builder can provide you with information on mandatory and optional clauses.

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