Employment Agreement and Employment Standards

Employment Agreement

Since 1 April 2017 these employment standards must be reflected in the employment agreement:

  1. Availability Clause for Agreed Hours of Work
  2. Cancellation of Shift Clause
  3. Secondary Employment Clause

1. Availability Clause for Agreed Hours of Work for the Employment Agreement

“Zero-hour” contracts are prohibited. What this means is if the employer requires an employee be available to work hours as the need arises but does not provide any guaranteed hours or payment (whether for all of their hours or only for additional hours) then their employment agreement will need revising.

And this additional availability clause can only be included in the employment agreement if:

  • it specifies agreed hours of work and includes guaranteed hours of work (start finish times, days of the week the work will be performed); and
  • it relates to a period in addition to the guaranteed hours; and
  • the employer has genuine reasons based on reasonable grounds.

Also an employer must pay reasonable compensation for the employee being available to perform work. An employer may agree with an employee that their salary includes reasonable compensation for them being available.

2. Cancellation of Shift Clause

This cancellation clause is especially relevant if the employer rosters employees on and may need to cancel a shift from time to time.  Then a special clause for the employee’s employment agreement is required detailing the ability to cancel shifts by giving notice. Otherwise the employer must pay the employee for the whole shift even if they didn’t work it.

3. Secondary Employment Clause

In addition now employers may only include a clause restricting an employee’s ability to undertake secondary employment if there is a genuine reason based on reasonable grounds (e.g. protecting an employer’s commercially sensitive information, intellectual property rights, real conflict interest). And then finally the reason must be specified in a special clause in the employment agreement.

For HR advice on employment standards, get in touch.