Employment Contracts

Employment contracts in Australia are legally binding agreements between employers and employees that outline the terms and conditions of their working relationship. These contracts provide clarity and protection for both parties involved.

This glossary aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of employment contracts in the Australian market, including their definition, key players, essential information, different types, and how Workstem, a workforce management system, can assist in managing employment contracts effectively.

What is an Employment Contract?

An employment contract in Australia is a legally enforceable agreement between an employer and an employee. It establishes the rights, obligations, and expectations of both parties during the employment period.

The contract outlines the terms of employment, such as job responsibilities, working hours, compensation, benefits, termination procedures, and any additional terms and conditions specific to the employment relationship.

Who is involved in an Employment Contract?

Employer: The employer refers to the individual, company, or organisation that hires an individual to perform specific work or services. The employer is responsible for providing employment opportunities, defining the terms of employment, ensuring compliance with Australian labour laws, and maintaining a safe working environment.

Employee: The employee is the individual who enters into an employment contract with the employer. They agree to provide their skills, time, and effort in exchange for compensation and other benefits as outlined in the contract.

What information is typically included in an Employment Contract?

An employment contract in Australia typically includes the following information:

Basic details

Names and addresses of both the employer and employee, the date of employment, and the job title or position.
Award or agreement

Reference to the applicable award, enterprise agreement, or other industrial instrument that governs the terms and conditions of employment.

Job description

A detailed explanation of the employee’s roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships.


The salary or wage rate, payment frequency, and any other benefits such as allowances, bonuses, or superannuation.

Working hours

The standard work schedule, including the number of hours, workdays, and any provisions for overtime, penalty rates, or shift work as per the applicable award or agreement.

Leave and holidays

Provisions for annual leave, sick leave, public holidays, and other types of authorised time off in accordance with the National Employment Standards (NES).

The procedure for terminating the contract, including notice periods, grounds for termination, and any redundancy or severance provisions.

Confidentiality and non-disclosure

Any obligations regarding the protection of confidential information belonging to the employer.
Intellectual property

Ownership and usage rights of any intellectual property created during the course of employment.

Dispute resolution

Procedures for resolving disputes or conflicts between the employer and employee, such as mediation or referral to the Fair Work Commission.

Types of Employment Contracts

Full-time contracts

A long-term employment agreement with ongoing and regular hours of work. It provides job security and typically includes all the essential terms and conditions of employment.

Part-time contracts

Contracts for employees who work fewer hours than full-time employees on a regular basis. They outline the agreed-upon working hours and may include provisions for pro-rated benefits.

Casual contracts

Contracts for irregular or sporadic work arrangements with no guaranteed hours of work. Casual employees are typically paid a higher hourly rate but do not receive benefits such as paid leave.

Fixed-term contracts

An employment agreement for a specific duration or until the occurrence of a specified event. It specifies the contract’s start and end dates or the event that triggers its termination.

How does Workstem assist you?

Simplify your payroll management with Workstem’s automated payroll system. We handle easy payroll by integrating employment information, attendance, leave, payroll, tax, superannuation and more into one master file.

By automating the payroll process in accordance with Fair Work and EBAs, Workstem simplifies tasks such as gross pay, overtime pay, allowances, loadings, and leave cashing out. The STP 2 reporting feature also enables businesses to comply with ATO.

Keep track of compliant payroll processing at its finest with Workstem, boosting efficiency and eliminating the need for tedious manual operations. Join us today!