An employment contract review can provide workers with transparency about their employment agreement. Employment agreements are often complex and difficult to understand. A workplace lawyer can ‘translate’ the legal jargon and provide clarity regarding the employment clauses.
In this article, we discuss the benefits of hiring a workplace lawyer to conduct an employment contract review.
Author: Farrah Motley, Legal Principal of Prosper Law.
It’s important to know what employment terms you are signing up to
For many workers, employment is a major source of income and livelihood. But it is more than that.
For some workers, employment can mean self-esteem, respect and a sense of identity. For these reasons, it is essential to ensure that the employment agreement you are signing up to is fair and favourable to you.
So often, workers hurriedly sign an employment contract, only to find out later that it contains unfair and unreasonable terms.
By engaging with a workplace lawyer to provide an employment contract review, you can find out upfront what you are signing up to.
Employment contract terms can come back to bite
I have had many workers come to me stating that their employers have asked them to:
- work away at short notice
- work away for long periods of time
- work excessively long hours and without breaks
These kinds of working conditions are often illegal and can lead workers to leave their job and seek alternative employment.
Alternatively, some employment contract terms are legal and enforceable, but may still be considered to negatively impact work-life balance. When an employer seeks to enforce unreasonable employment contract terms, employees may seek alternative employment or suffer from a heavy and unreasonable expectation of work from their employer.
By seeking legal advice from a workplace lawyer, workers can get a comprehensive employment contract review and an opportunity to negotiate terms.
An employment lawyer can explain whether clauses are enforceable or not
From non-compete clauses, restraint of trade clauses and clauses requiring workers to transfer intellectual property clauses to their employer; some clauses are legally enforceable and some are not.
In this article, we have written about whether or not non-compete clauses are enforceable (hint: they are difficult to enforce). But there are other clauses that can pose problems for workers.
For example, clauses requiring workers to work long hours and at short notice may be contrary to legal requirements. A workplace lawyer can tell you if there is a requirement in your contract that is unlawful.
An employment contract review can determine whether clauses are enforceable or not. This provides employees with certainty about their obligations during and after their employment.
Employees can negotiate employment agreements
Employees are entitled to negotiate employment agreements. If a clause is contrary to what you had agreed, contrary to legal requirements (such as a Modern Award) or you simply don’t agree to a condition, you should ask to amend the clause.
Hiring a lawyer to negotiate an employment agreement can be beneficial, particularly in the long run. If you are planning on staying in your job for a long time, you are in a senior role or you simply don’t agree with the contract terms, get a lawyer to negotiate with your employer on your behalf.
A workplace lawyer can help you to identify the clauses that you don’t agree with and work out a strategy for negotiating a change to those clauses.
Some employers don’t understand employment law
Just because an employer has provided you with a contract, doesn’t mean that they understand what is able to be included in an employment contract and what is not. Some employers do not hire a workplace lawyer to write their employment contracts.
Rather, some employment agreements are pulled together by copying clauses from other agreements. This can sometimes lead to an employment contract containing clauses that aren’t appropriate for a particular position, industry or level of seniority.
In those cases, hiring a workplace lawyer to carry out an employment contract review can be helpful for both the worker and the employer.
How can Prosper Law help?
Prosper Law’s legal services are provided by Farrah Motley, an Australian workplace lawyer. Farrah has experience working with both employers and employees to deliver first-class, commercially sensitive legal advice.
Contact the team at Prosper Law today to discuss how we can help you with an employment contract review for a fixed fee.
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