About employment contracts 

An employment contract is an agreement between you and your employee. It can be written or verbal, but a clearly written contract can help:

  • you both to understand your employee’s rights to certain pay and conditions
  • manage your employee’s expectations of their new role
  • protect your business, for example, through confidentiality and intellectual property terms.

Your employment contract must provide your employee with, at least, their minimum legal entitlements. You can find these in the National Employment Standards (NES) and the relevant industry award or agreement (if one applies). But you can always choose to provide more generous terms and conditions.

Not sure if you're ready?

See our hiring employees checklist to make sure you haven't missed any steps. 

Create an employment contract

Use our Employment Contract Tool to build your own employment contract. This tool is for employees covered by an award under Australia’s Fair Work system.

Before you start, make sure:

  • you know the type of employee you’re hiring (e.g. part-time, full-time or casual)
  • your employee is under an industry award
  • you’re paying an hourly or weekly wage.
Create a contract

The Employment Contract Tool helps small business employers to make an employment contract that complies with workplace laws. To use it, your employee must be:

Do not use the tool if you want to pay your employee a salary. Contracts for salary arrangements have detailed requirements, so you need financial and legal advice for these.

If you’re employing:

An employment contract provides the basic terms and conditions of employment, such as:

  • employer and employee details
  • job title
  • employment type (full-time, part-time or casual)
  • employment dates
  • hours of work
  • pay and allowances
  • leave
  • notice requirements.

Make sure the contract does not provide conditions below the employee’s minimum entitlements. These entitlements are set out in the National Employment Standards (NES) and the relevant industry award or agreement (if one applies).

You may also include terms that provide incentives to your employee or to protect your business (such as an intellectual property clause). Our Employment Contract Tool steps you through some of these options.

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