Written employment contracts between employees and employers are good practice and are becoming increasingly common in Australian workplaces. However when drawing them up, it’s wise to access informed and expert advice.


A Northern Territory Industrial Relations consultant is taking advantage of a clause in the Fair Work Act (2009) to offer assistance to 20,000 public servants in the upcoming Enterprise Bargaining negotiations.

In 2017 the Northern Territory Government is set to commence enterprise bargaining negotiations with the majority of its public service employees. While employee representation is typically provided by trade unions, the IR consultant is offering his expertise as an alternative to the unions.

The consultant is seeking to provide public servants with greater choice of who they seek to represent them when negotiating their EBA’s.

The Fair Work Act stipulates that Enterprise Bargaining representatives can come from a range of positions, including a trade union that has a member covered by the agreement, or a person or organisation nominated by the employee to be their bargaining representative.

Drawing up an employment contract that states the terms of employment, as agreed upon by the employer and employee, is good practice, and is becoming increasingly common in Australia. Such a contract establishes a set of rights and obligations that employers and employees acknowledge and agree to uphold. The development of a written contract is particularly recommended under the following conditions:

• In case parties subsequently need evidence of their understanding of the employment terms
• The employee is not covered by an industrial instrument such as an award or enterprise agreement
• When providing an entitlement above the relevant award or agreement
• When an award entitlement is offset over and against award payment etc.
• In case of representation and advocacy in tribunals, as required
• For advice and interpretation of applicable legislation
• Adherence to the Fair Work Act 2009
• Adherence to good faith bargaining requirements and scope orders.


When creating or negotiating a workplace contract it is always important to ensure advice and representation is provided by an informed and experienced source. iHR Australia offers a range of services in this area, including the review of existing contracts your organisation might have, and the development of new ones.

iHR can provide expert advice on relevant awards and legislation when developing new contracts for your organisation. Depending on your needs, more than one contract template may be required to cover different awards and/or cater for high-income employees, as defined by the (Fair Work Act 2009).

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