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Avoid doubt with written contracts

It is important that every employee has a contract of employment, otherwise, implied terms and conditions can exist based on the working employment history. A custom and practice may be deemed a contractual entitlement where the employee comes to rely on that term.

The difficulty with this kind of arrangement is that the employer and the employee may well have different views as to what are the implied terms and, where such views clash, difficulties in the employment relationship will no doubt arise.

Accordingly, it is very important for an employer to clearly outline terms and conditions in writing to avoid any confusion or ambiguity.

A contract is best given in writing and should contain the following details:

  • the full names of the employer and the employee,

  • the address of the employer,

  • the place of work

  • the title of the job or nature of the work,

  • the date of commencement of the employee’s contract of employment,

  • in the case of a temporary contract, the expected duration of the contract and/or the date on which the contract expires,

  • the rate or method of calculation of the employee’s pay,

  • the pay reference period and pay intervals and that the employee may request a statement of their average hourly rate of pay,

  • any terms or conditions relating to hours of work (including overtime),

  • any terms or conditions relating to paid leave (other than paid sick leave),

  • any terms or conditions relating to sick pay or a pensions

  • the period of notice of termination to be given by the employer and the employee,

  • Details of any collective agreements.

Remember, if an employee does not receive a contract that complies with legislation and/or they don’t receive it within 2 months of starting, then each such employee could win 4 weeks’ pay each in compensation.

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