Employment Contract Review & Advice

Need Help with your employment contract?

If you need help negotiating a new contract or are concerned about your employment contract or contractor agreement, call us.   WorkLegal has the experience and skills to advise you about acceptable terms for your employment contract and how to protect you if your rights are threatened. 

Negotiating an employment contract?

It is essential to carefully check the terms of an employment contract or contractor agreement that is being offered to you and “negotiate out” any unacceptable terms, as your bargaining position is always stronger before you sign a contract.

Contracts for executive, professional and other senior roles are especially sensitive as those positions usually do not have the protection of a modern award safety net and are often not covered by fair dismissal law.

Some of the terms that may need special consideration are:

  • the salary package and how it is structured;
  • security of employment, termination events and length of termination notice;
  • benefits;
  • costs of relocation and executive training and claw backs reserved by the employer;
  • restraint of trade clauses by which the employer seeks to restrain your job opportunities, work types or business pursuits after the employment ends.

If you have been offered a contractor agreement we can also advise if contracting or employment is appropriate to the situation, and your options for approaching the employer if you may have been offered what amounts to a sham contract.

Reviewing a new employment contract or contractor agreement

Call us to arrange a fixed fee review of your new employment contract or contractor agreement. We will review it, have a meeting with you to discuss the outcomes of the review, and send you a summary of issues and recommended actions. We can then also assist with how to communicate the changes you need to see and the changes that can be made to suit all parties.

Reviewing an already signed employment contract or contractor agreement

Some terms that we are often asked to advise about in contracts that are already signed are:

  • restraint that may limit your work and business options after the employment ends;
  • termination notice obligations;
  • calculation and timing of payment of entitlements after termination; and
  • “clawbacks” reserved by the employer for costs of relocation and executive training.

We are able to discuss the legal implications of the clauses and what can be challenged. We can also discuss the practical aspects of “leaving well”, and how to position yourself well for the future.

Disputed issues with your current employment contract?

Where a breach of contract may be involved, it is essential to unpack the history around what has happened and take positive action to protect your rights.

Where an employer is attempting to enforce a right of recovery under a contract – e.g., recovering the costs of relocation costs – the wording of the employment contract clause is important as well as provisions of the Fair Work Act designed to prohibit unfair and unreasonable contractual clauses.

Where your employment contract includes a restraint of trade provision, it is essential to carefully assess the enforceability of the clause.  It is essential that you know where you stand, as a properly worded restraint can significantly limit your career options.

Also, not all employment restraints are enforceable, and a court may not enforce an unnecessarily restrictive clause that the employer has no legitimate business interest to impose. 

We always recommend that you take advice before a problem arises, and you should contact us without delay if you are concerned about an employment contract issue.

Contact us today for advice about:

  • for a new employment contract or contractor agreement, understanding all the terms and how they will affect you in the future, and negotiating changes to key terms;
  • for an already signed employment contract, understanding how the terms may affect you so that you can make informed decisions for your future planning;
  • if you are planning to leave, understanding any ongoing obligations and risks, and your options for how to manage them.

For longstanding experience and help when you need it, Contact WorkLegal today.

Have you been given a lengthy employment contract or contractor agreement to sign? Or needing advice about an employment or contractor agreement that you have already signed? Contact us about reviewing your employment contract or contractor agreement.

1300 223 398

ENQUIRE NOW

Have you been given a lengthy employment contract or contractor agreement to sign? Or needing advice about an employment or contractor agreement that you have already signed? Contact us about reviewing your employment contract or contractor agreement.

1300 223 398ENQUIRE NOW

Need Help with your employment contract?

If you need help negotiating a new contract or are concerned about your employment contract or contractor agreement, call us.   WorkLegal has the experience and skills to advise you about acceptable terms for your employment contract and how to protect you if your rights are threatened. 

Negotiating an employment contract?

It is essential to carefully check the terms of an employment contract or contractor agreement that is being offered to you and “negotiate out” any unacceptable terms, as your bargaining position is always stronger before you sign a contract.

Contracts for executive, professional and other senior roles are especially sensitive as those positions usually do not have the protection of a modern award safety net and are often not covered by fair dismissal law.

Some of the terms that may need special consideration are:

  • the salary package and how it is structured;
  • security of employment, termination events and length of termination notice;
  • benefits;
  • costs of relocation and executive training and claw backs reserved by the employer;
  • restraint of trade clauses by which the employer seeks to restrain your job opportunities, work types or business pursuits after the employment ends.

If you have been offered a contractor agreement we can also advise if contracting or employment is appropriate to the situation, and your options for approaching the employer if you may have been offered what amounts to a sham contract.

Reviewing a new employment contract or contractor agreement

Call us to arrange a fixed fee review of your new employment contract or contractor agreement. We will review it, have a meeting with you to discuss the outcomes of the review, and send you a summary of issues and recommended actions. We can then also assist with how to communicate the changes you need to see and the changes that can be made to suit all parties.

Reviewing an already signed employment contract or contractor agreement

Some terms that we are often asked to advise about in contracts that are already signed are:

  • restraint that may limit your work and business options after the employment ends;
  • termination notice obligations;
  • calculation and timing of payment of entitlements after termination; and
  • “clawbacks” reserved by the employer for costs of relocation and executive training.

We are able to discuss the legal implications of the clauses and what can be challenged. We can also discuss the practical aspects of “leaving well”, and how to position yourself well for the future.

Disputed issues with your current employment contract?

Where a breach of contract may be involved, it is essential to unpack the history around what has happened and take positive action to protect your rights.

Where an employer is attempting to enforce a right of recovery under a contract – e.g., recovering the costs of relocation costs – the wording of the employment contract clause is important as well as provisions of the Fair Work Act designed to prohibit unfair and unreasonable contractual clauses.

Where your employment contract includes a restraint of trade provision, it is essential to carefully assess the enforceability of the clause.  It is essential that you know where you stand, as a properly worded restraint can significantly limit your career options.

Also, not all employment restraints are enforceable, and a court may not enforce an unnecessarily restrictive clause that the employer has no legitimate business interest to impose. 

We always recommend that you take advice before a problem arises, and you should contact us without delay if you are concerned about an employment contract issue.

Contact us today for advice about:

  • for a new employment contract or contractor agreement, understanding all the terms and how they will affect you in the future, and negotiating changes to key terms;
  • for an already signed employment contract, understanding how the terms may affect you so that you can make informed decisions for your future planning;
  • if you are planning to leave, understanding any ongoing obligations and risks, and your options for how to manage them.

For longstanding experience and help when you need it, Contact WorkLegal today.

Case Study – Negotiating a Restraint of Trade

Daniela is an up-and-coming accountant and is thrilled when a multi-national accounting firm accepts her employment application.

She will have to relocate to take up the job and the company will pay for her relocation costs. She is emailed a lengthy employment agreement which she reads quickly. Daniela shares her good news with a friend over a coffee. Her friend is happy for Daniela but recommends she has the employment contract checked before sending it back.

Her employment lawyer reads the contract carefully and notices that the contract includes a lengthy restraint clause under a heading “Business Protection”. Her lawyer explains the clause places various limitations on what she can do after the employment ends that Daniela should think through before signing up.

Daniela has some existing clients that she wants to bring with her to the practice. Her lawyer points out that the restraint does not exclude those clients, and the employer could try to prohibit her from providing services to those clients if the employment ends.

With advice from her lawyer Daniela negotiates the restraint clause to a mutually satisfactory outcome and she is thrilled to start packing to move for her new opportunity.

Case Study – Negotiating a Costs Clawback Clause

Sam is a business professional and is offered an excellent opportunity in another state in an industry he has not worked in before. Pursuing the opportunity will require him to relocate and also have some new training in the industry he will be working in.

He is emailed an employment contract. His employment lawyer notices that the contract includes requirements for the relocation and training costs incurred within the past 24 months to be repaid if the employment ends for any reason.

He points out that “for any reason” could include termination by the company for redundancy, or an unfair termination. His lawyer also identifies that some of the costs are clearly for the company’s own benefit rather than Sam’s. He also identifies that the costs are expected to be fully paid back even if Sam has served nearly all of the 24-month period.  

His lawyer suggests changes to the contract and how to appropriately raise them with the company. The new employer was prepared to listen to Sam’s sensible concerns about the contract and agreed to make the most important changes that Sam asked for.

Read our Testimonials

I am so grateful for your assistance and incredible service. Truly exceeded my expectations. Once again I genuinely cannot thank you enough.

Chiropractor in private practice

It was a pleasure dealing with Scott regarding my matter. He’s very professional and thorough in his review, and was able to provide me insights and give me tips on matters I should be aware of now and in the future. He has a very good understanding of the mining industry which made the review run smoothly. I would highly recommend!

Environmental Services Manager

Scott has been helpful in reviewing a draft contract for the provision of health services. He was able to work through the contract explaining features and their intent, identify areas of concern and how to address them in a negotiation setting. He was helpful, clear and addressed any questions in a thorough manner. Thanks Scott.

Experienced Optometrist