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Employment contracts

An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and employee that sets out terms and conditions of employment. A contract can be in writing or verbal.

Can a contract provide for less than the legal minimums?

An employment contract cannot provide for less than the legal minimum set out in:

All employees are covered by the NES, regardless of whether they’ve signed a contract. A contract can’t make employees worse off than their minimum legal entitlements.

myth logo Myth: Long hours are just part of the job when you’re on a salary.

Fact: It's common for salary employees to be expected to work reasonable additional hours, however, you can't be asked to work any number of additional hours.

So how do you know what's reasonable? It depends on a few things, but a key factor is whether your salary is at least equal to what you would have earned under the award for the hours you worked (including any overtime or penalty rates that would have applied).

You can check minimum award rates with our Pay Calculator

Getting help with employment contracts

We can give advice about the legal minimums in an employment contract. You will need to contact a lawyer for advice about any other terms and conditions in the contract.

Find out where to get legal advice.

Think a mistake might have been made about the legal minimums in a contract?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you still can't resolve it.

Help for small business

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