One of the most common problems we see is that older workers have employment contracts that go back to their previous positions with the company and have not been updated since then. Changes that are not under review of the previous written contract may lead to the “old” contract no longer applicable and a new (unwritten) contract to be entered into. Often the most problematic result is that explicit notice no longer applies and involves appropriate termination. In addition, some important safeguards, such as . B post-employment restrictions, can no longer apply. Courts are often asked, particularly in dismissal cases, whether workers` written contracts are still in place despite job changes.1 Clear, careful and appropriate positioning of the policy in the context of an employer`s employment can be costly. Last month, an employer had to pay more than $3 million to an executive when he found that the company was contractually bound to comply with its redundancy policy.2 While the redundancy policy was not available to workers, the worker agreed, as part of the employment contract, to be bound by company guidelines. , as amended from time to time. The contract did not specify whether the employer was bound by this policy or whether it was part of the employment contract.
The NSW Supreme Court found that the policy had been included in the employment contract and had linked the two parties in the same manner. A well-written employment contract helps the worker and employer know what is expected of them and what they are entitled to. This means that misunderstandings are less likely to arise, and if a problem arises, then workers and employers can go to the employment contract to clarify things. While many employers re-explore and revugate standard contracts for new workers, it is generally less common to have a formal process for reviewing and updating existing employment contracts. Employers must strike a balance between ensuring that workers know and comply with their guidelines and minimizing their vulnerability in violation of contractual rights. The design of contracts alone is not sufficient to prevent a contractual policy. However, clear drafting in employment contracts can go a long way to ensure that the policy does not impose binding (and enforceable) obligations on employers. Good working relationships begin with a good hiring process, so workers and employers have the same expectations for roles and working conditions. There are two important cases where an employer is able to require a worker to sign an updated employment contract without any additional incentive. Both cases are: For companies with 20 or more employees, you can include a probationary period clause instead. We will assist you in developing an appropriate probation clause for your contracts.
We recommend that employers update their employment contracts to reflect the changes, so that all employees are aware of their obligations and rights and that potential employment problems related to breaks are avoided.