Burgess Thomson Lawyers

Employment Law

Business & Commercial

Newcastle's leading experts in Employment Law Advice

Employment law is a broad area of law and includes matters such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, occupational health and safety, and workplace injuries to name a few. The team at Burgess Thomson are specialised in the business aspects of employment law. Burgess Thomson regularly assist clients in preparing Employment Agreements and Contracts of Employment for a range of circumstances including casual, part-time, or full-time agreements.

Despite what you may think, it is not always suitable to provide a prospective employee with a stock standard employment agreement. This may in fact be counterintuitive to the goals you wish to achieve by employing the person.

It is important that an agreement between you and an employee is suited to the specific circumstances of your business. Important things to consider are your express duties under the Contract, such as an agreed salary, working hours and notice of termination, as well as implied duties such as providing a safe workplace and reimbursing employees for necessary expenses incurred on behalf of the business. In addition, you must ensure you are meeting the National Employment Standards and keep up do date with the requirements of Modern Awards.

Hiring a new employee may seem like an easy process, but the assistance of a lawyer specialising in this area can be invaluable in ensuring the agreement reflects the interests of both parties.


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What is in the National Employment Standards?

It is best you read these standards in full so you understand the obligations of you as an employer. Generally, the standards are set by the Fair Work Ombudsman and lists 11 minimum employment entitlements. These entitlements include, maximum weekly hours, annual leave, public holidays, parental leave and other important entitlements.

When are duties implied?

Duties may be implied in a few different ways. Providing a safe work environment is a duty implied by law. Duties may also be implied by customs of the industry, or where they are necessary for the reasonable operation of the employment.

What if I breach my duties?

If you breach your duties to employees there can be variable consequences that depend on the circumstances of the breach. For example, you could be liable to a severe monetary penalty, court proceedings, and/or termination of your employment, for example.

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