If you’re starting a new job in Australia, it’s important to make sure you sign a carefully drafted contract to ensure you’re protected by the full scope of the law. While there’s no legal requirement to have a contract in Australia, any employment lawyer will tell you that you’d be stupid not to have one – regardless of whether you’re an employer or an employee.
However, there are a few different types of contract, and it can be hard to determine which is best suited to your specific situation. It’s important to be fully informed before you begin contract negotiations, which is why we’ve outlined the different employment options available. As always speak to a trained employment lawyer if you have queries or would like help drafting a new contract.
What Are the Main Contract Types?
In short, there are two main types of contract in Australia. These can be further split into different types of employment – and we’ll go into that shortly – but first, let’s take a closer look at what they are.
- Open-ended contracts are the most common and involve an employee being hired for an unspecified amount of time. They usually include information about contract termination, including how much notice needs to be given and what, if any financial payouts a dismissed employee is entitled to.
- Fixed-term contracts are rare but certainly worth being aware of. They generally specify a hard end-date when employment will terminate. A good example of a fixed-term contract would be when you commit to working with a company for a year on a project, but don’t want to continue after this.
Now that you understand what types of contracts are available, let’s have a quick look at the most common employment types in Australia.