Common Law Employment Contracts and Fair Work Australia: What You Need to Know

When it comes to employment contracts in Australia, there are two main types: common law contracts and award contracts. While award contracts are specific to particular industries and occupations, common law contracts are more flexible and can be negotiated between employers and individual employees. However, both types of contracts are subject to the laws and regulations of Fair Work Australia, which sets minimum standards for pay, conditions, and fairness in the workplace.

So what exactly is a common law employment contract? Simply put, it is an agreement between an employer and an individual employee that outlines the terms and conditions of their employment. This can include things like pay rates, hours of work, leave entitlements, and termination provisions. Unlike award contracts, which have set minimum standards that cannot be lowered, common law contracts can be negotiated to suit the needs of both parties.

However, common law contracts must still comply with the laws and regulations of Fair Work Australia. This includes minimum pay rates, maximum hours of work, and protection against unfair dismissal or discrimination. Employers cannot use common law contracts to circumvent these laws, or to take advantage of employees who may not fully understand their rights and obligations.

For employees, it is important to read and understand any employment contract before signing it. If there are any terms or conditions that are unclear or unfair, it is recommended to seek legal advice. It is also important to keep a copy of the contract in a safe place, as it can be used as evidence in the event of a dispute.

For employers, it is important to ensure that any common law contracts are fair and comply with the laws and regulations of Fair Work Australia. This includes providing employees with clear information about their entitlements, and ensuring that they have access to Fair Work Australia resources for dispute resolution.

In conclusion, common law employment contracts are a flexible option for both employers and employees, but they must still comply with the laws and regulations of Fair Work Australia. By understanding your rights and obligations, and seeking legal advice if necessary, you can ensure that your employment contract is fair and protects your interests.