Every business model that incorporates growth revolves around hiring and maintaining competent staff. Before hiring staff it is necessary to understand the purpose that they are required for. Workers tend to fall into two categories for this purpose, employees and contractors.
In Australian Law, the distinction between workers being either employees or contractors is very important. A failure to properly characterise the nature of work being performed can result in a range of negative outcomes. These can include underpayment claims, sham contracting allegations, or adverse legal action resulting in significant penalties being issued. It can be difficult to distinguish between categories of workers. For this reason, it is often appropriate to receive legal advice to minimise the risks associated with engaging workers.
The experienced team at Forge Legal’s Employment Division has helped countless employers in a broad range of industries and business types by advising them in relation to staffing matters, worker status and the implications of different working arrangements.
One of the biggest mistakes employers make is getting employment contracts wrong. Failing to properly document an employment relationship correctly or implementing unlawful terms or conditions can result in a range of negative outcomes. These can include severe penalties and restrictions, substantial fines and damages claims.
As an employer, your interests will be better protected by ensuring a well-considered and prepared employment contract is in place with their employee. Well-drafted employment contracts can address the issues which are specific to your business and your business interests that need protecting. Examples of the types of issues that employment agreements can address include:
- The role being performed;
- The term of the role and how the agreement can be brought to an end;
- When work is to be completed;
- How much the employee is to be paid;
- How confidential information is dealt with;
- Intellectual property; and
- Restraints of trade.
By addressing these issues in writing, there is less room for confusion between the parties as to their rights and obligations. This is a positive thing when staff relationships are operating well, but even more important when employment disputes arise. When this occurs the terms of the employment relationship will be scrutinised.
If you would like to have a new employment agreement prepared for your business or need advice about ensuring how to implement a law employment arrangement, Forge Legal’s Employment division has assisted countless business’ maintain positive employee/employer relationships for the last 30 years.
Workplace policies are the cornerstone of any successful growing business. They are statements of principles and practices which govern the management and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis. Polices are an important tool to assist employers in the management of risk, identify legal compliance and obligations, control employee behaviour, refine your business model, and to establish effective work practices within your business.
Determining which policies should be implemented in your workplace will depend on the nature of your business and its size. Accordingly, not all policies will be suitable for all workplaces. Forge Legal has an extensive history spanning the last 30 years of assisting employers with their workplace policy needs and removing the guesswork concerning what to do, what can be done and how to do it.