Understanding your contract

Employment contracts are essential for both you and your employer. Contracts establish the working relationship by outlining your rights, responsibilities and obligations. In return your employer provides you with minimum terms and conditions.

What is a contract?

Your contract covers you while you work. It sounds simple, but it’s worth repeating. This document sets out the terms and conditions of a job, which includes pay, hours of work, leave entitlements, and much more. Signing a contract indicates that you and your employer have agreed to these terms. If your circumstances suddenly change or you’re being pressured, your contract is there to protect you. Management expects their employees to work to a certain minimum, likewise you should expect your employer to adhere to the contract you both signed.

What are the minimums?

All employees have ten minimum employment entitlements called the National Employment Standards (NES). All Awards, enterprise agreements or contracts, must include and provide for conditions that meet or exceed these standards. 

Depending on how you negotiate your contract, it will include clauses that may have implications down the track in your career, such as non-compete or intellectual property rights clauses. It’s very important that you know your contract complies with all minimum requirements, and that you understand the implications of any clauses it contains.

How we can help?

Where are you along your career path?

Are you starting a new job, changing roles or re-negotiating a condition in your contract?

No matter what stage of your career, the key to a successful negotiation is preparation and planning.

We understand negotiations can be difficult, but proper preparation is 90% of the job.

So, prior to signing on the dotted line, take the time to prepare yourself before you enter any contract negotiations.

Professionals Australia can review the employment contract you are offered in your new job, provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what you are being asked to sign, and help to negotiate the best terms for you. When you join the Association, you can take advantage of our Employment Contract Review Service. Our team of lawyers will review your contract, check the minimums and explain the implications of all the clauses and conditions. This service can cost hundreds elsewhere, but our members receive it free of charge. This service will equip you with the knowledge to know what makes a good contract that benefits and protects you while you work.