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If you are employed and you are starting a new job or there are issues with your current job, you may need to speak to an employment contract lawyer and get some legal advice.

In this article, we talk about the 3 signs that you need an employment contract lawyer.

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Author: Farrah Motley, Legal Principal of Prosper Law.

1. You think something may be illegal

If you think something you have been asked to do, or not do, as part of your job is illegal, you need to get some legal advice.

Employment contracts generally require that employees must do what their employers ask of them. However, if your employer is asking you to do something that might be illegal, that contractual obligation does not apply and you can refuse to comply with the request.

Some examples of employers asking employees to do something illegal are:

  • perform unlicensed electrical or plumbing work;
  • bully someone else at work so that they leave their employment;
  • talk to a competitor and agree to fix prices or share information relating to a tender;
  • overcharge a customer; and
  • lie about the goods or services that your employer sells as part of its business.
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But employers might not be your only concern. You might be asked to do something illegal by a competitor, a client or another employee.

Either way, you should talk to an employment contract lawyer to figure out whether you have been asked to do something illegal and what you can do about it.

The important thing is to avoid any negative consequences and ensure that you do not break the law.

2. Your employer is becoming hostile

At some point during your employment, your employer or manager may become hostile.

Hostile behaviour by an employer may include:

  • reducing the number of shifts you are rostered on to;
  • yelling, shouting, humiliating or other bullying behaviour;
  • threatening to do something that will negatively impact you or your job; and
  • ignoring you or excluding you from work events.

Such behaviour may amount to bullying or adverse action. In such cases, it’s important for you to understand your legal rights and engage an employment contract lawyer.

In Australia, bullying behaviour in the workplace is not tolerated. In fact, bullying is quickly becoming a criminal act in many States and Territories across Australia.

It is recommended that you take this step sooner rather than later because bullying and hostile behaviour can take their toll on your mental health and employment.

3. You haven’t been paid correctly

Let’s face it – no one works for free. You do your job and your employer has a legal obligation to pay you.

Not only does your employer have to pay you in accordance with your employment contract, but they must also adhere to the Fair Work Act and any relevant Modern Award.

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If your employment contract is inconsistent with the Fair Work Act or a Modern Award, that part of your employment contract will not be enforceable by your employer.

There are many companies that fail to pay their employees correctly. These employers are risking being fined, having to back-pay their staff and losing key employees. Underpayment of wages has been a key focus of the regulators in Australia in recent years as it amounts to wage theft and is unlawful.

If you think that:

  • you are not getting paid enough;
  • your employer is deducting amounts from your pay;
  • your employer is not paying your superannuation; or
  • your employer is not paying you regularly,

you need to contact an employment contract lawyer.

Generally, an employment contract is your source of truth. However, many people don’t realise that some employment contract terms are not enforceable or are simply designed to deter employees from behaving in a certain way.

How can Prosper Law help?

Prosper Law is Australia’s online law firm. We provide fixed-fee employment law advice.

Our legal services are designed to resolve legal disputes quickly, limit what can be a stressful process and achieve the best outcome for you.

Contact the team today for a no-obligation quote and free legal consultation.

Farrah Motley | Legal Principal

PROSPER LAW – Australia’s Online Law Firm

M: 0422 721 121



A: Suite No. 99, Level 54, 111 Eagle Street, Brisbane, Queensland Australia 4000

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