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.

You can check minimum award rates with our Pay and Conditions Tool

Getting help with employment contracts

If you’re new to hiring staff, use the business.gov.au – Employment Contract Tool external-icon.png. The tool helps you build an employment contract that’s tailored to your business needs and complies with workplace laws. It also includes easy-to-understand information on all the legal minimums you need to include.

To use the tool, your employee must be:

  • full-time, part-time or casual
  • covered by an award
  • paid an hourly or weekly wage.

The Employment Contract Tool isn’t for every worker. It can’t be used for:

  • employees who’ll be paid a salary
  • apprentices and trainees
  • seasonal workers
  • independent contractors, or
  • employees covered by registered agreements.

Use the business.gov.au – Employment Contract Tool external-icon.png.

We can also 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 Fixing a workplace problem 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.

Tools and resources

Related information

Help for small business