Many businesses are created as a one-man band adopting a purely reactive approach to hiring employees. That is, new employees are hired during a period of desperation and the main focus is to get boots in the field or a backside in a seat to ensure work can be done, clients are happy and the business continues to function. This all too common situation can prove ugly for a business if a person is not hired correctly, or more importantly if the wrong person is hired.
Before you employ someone you should ask yourself the following:
- Do I have a good Employment contract for the person?
- Does it cover wages,
- Employee Entitlements,
- notice to terminate,
- probationary periods,
- policies of the business.
- On what terms do you wish to hire the person?
- Full time
- Part time
- Are you paying in accordance with the Correct award?
- What is the actual work being required to be performed?
We recommend that you go through our hiring checklist attached before you decide to put on a new employee in order you have all your I’s dotted and T’s crossed. If you don’t have some of the items stipulated, then Queensland Law Practice can prepare these documents in accordance with your recommendations so that all the relevant laws are followed.
JOB DESCRIPTIONS & WORKPLACE POLICIES
More times than not, business’ may not put in place Employee contracts, policies or even a job description. If this is you then don’t panic as many business’ fall down in this area (even law firms). But it is important to rectify this as soon as possible.
Some businesses may dismiss the importance of having a well drafted Employment contract and in some cases even hire staff on handshake deals. We cannot stress enough the significance of a tried and tested employment contract. Employees are an investment and as such need rules and guidelines that you can bank on. It is no different to buying a property without having any things in writing to specify exactly which property you are purchasing.
Employment contracts are the first document an employer and employee can reach for to determine if the job is being conducted in the way as expected. An employment contract should be drafted in clear and precise terms so that there is little to no room for misunderstanding the employee’s / employers duties and obligations. Many people make the mistake of implying terms and policies into an employment contract without having written policies in place. Down the track, this can lead to major issues regarding staff conduct and performance (eg. Use of the internet, social media, personal emails, behaviour and dress codes).
Given that a business owner will not likely pick up an employee’s contract until a dispute arises it is important that the contract is drafted correctly. It is equally as important that there are solid policies in place (which can be changed from time to time as the business's needs change) that can be enforced at a later date if needed.
Queensland Law Practice has experts in Employment Law who have prepared countless employment contracts and policies for a wide range of businesses. We are here to ensure that your legal obligations are met and are on-hand to provide advice in situations when those obligations are not met.