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How To Face Employment Agreements During Harsh Economic Conditions

Most adults, at one point or another, are faced with a form of an employment agreement. For some, it is presenting an employment agreement to a potential staff member, and others it is receiving an employment agreement as an employee. There are many interests at stake for both sides, and typically it involves some type […]

How To Face Employment Agreements During Harsh Economic Conditions

How To Face Employment Agreements During Harsh Economic Conditions

Most adults, at one point or another, are faced with a form of an employment agreement. For some, it is presenting an employment agreement to a potential staff member, and others it is receiving an employment agreement as an employee. There are many interests at stake for both sides, and typically it involves some type of negotiation. In harsh financial conditions, this process becomes even more critical.

But what is at stake here is not only complying with the statute when drafting an agreement but to believe in the idea that any agreement to be drafted must be fair and clear. Assuming that we have a neatly crafted employment agreement before us, should we look for what I call employment golden catches. The short answer is, yes.

Cover yourself

The first step before inking anything is to never rush it up. Take that draft with you home, read it and understand it. Once, you are certain the terms satisfy your objectives then finalize it with your employer. Always remember that in any negotiation the duty of good faith is obligatory for both employer and employee. The Fair Work Act 2009 s 228 [the Act] sets out the good faith bargaining requirements. In simple terms, this is not an option for either side. It is must-thing-to-do. The duty is wider in scope than the implied mutual obligation of trust and confidence.

Know what you’re getting yourself into

The second step is to know what type of employment agreement you are about to enter into. Are you a casual employee, part-time, full-time or an independent contractor? It is very crucial, especially for the employees to know the distinction between being an employee or an independent contractor. For if it is the latter, and although the Act provides for some general protections to independent contractors and their principals, it does so in conjunction with the Independent Contractors Act 2006.

Take precautions

The third step is to observe the famous saying that, “prevention is better than cure”. Never try to doctor yourself. I would seldom form my mind on any agreement that would either include my interest or interest of people I may emotionally attach to. An emotion while being capable of building a notion, is quite capable of destroying it as well. It can easily overcome the power of wisdom if wrongly given due consideration. Remember the right to seek independent legal advice is yours and only yours to pick.

Install exits

The fourth step is the entry-exit mechanism. Take the famous saying; “I won’t enter a place if I don’t know how to get out”, literally. Whether you are an employer or an employee, you want to know your rights such as what entitles an employee to remain at a workplace, or keep the employee at the workplace. As an employee, you want to know what may enforce your way out, or as an employer, how you may show your employee the way out. Approaching a situation with a procedural mindset will help work through these problems. Often employers are caught in wrongful dismissal claims and genuinely believe they were acting in accordance with the law or employment contract at the time they made the dismissal decision. This is only to learn later, that their decision was overturned by the court.

Disclaimer (irritating yet important!): The information on this page is general information only and must not be relied on as legal advice. For legal advice in negotiating terms on your employment agreement, speak to an experienced employment agreement lawyer on 1800 217 217.