From time to time everybody faces employment issues, whether or not you are an employer, employee or contractor.
If You Are an Employer
- Wages or salaries for employees will be one of the more significant expenses a business incurs;
- The success or failure of the business to some degree lies within your employees' hands; and
- You will be held legally liable for the actions and omissions of your employees.
Bearing these issues in mind it is extremely important for an employer to structure their arrangements with parties engaged to perform work on their behalf and to understand the duties and obligations imposed on each party.
As an employer it is important that you understand:
- The advantages of clearly defining an employee’s duties and obligations in an employment contract;
- Your rights and obligations when considering penalising, reprimanding or terminating an employee;
- The employee’s rights and your obligations under legislation and awards;
- The advantages and disadvantages of workplace agreements and enterprise bargaining;
- The importance of placing a restraint of trade on key employees;
- When you will be held liable for the actions or omissions of your employees;
- The taxation and superannuation obligations imposed on you by legislation;
- The difference between an employee and a contractor and the consequences of getting the distinction wrong.
If You Are an Employee
As an employee it is important to understand the duties and obligations imposed on you and the terms of your employment. It is important that you as an employee understand any employment contract, workplace agreement or enterprise bargaining agreement that you enter into and understand your rights under legislation and any relevant award.
It is suggested that you obtain legal advice to clarify your position, rights and obligations if:
- You have been provided with an employment contract, enterprise bargaining or workplace agreement;
- You believe that your employer is not complying with their legal obligations;
- Your employer or another employee is discriminating or harassing you;
- You have recently been unfairly or unnecessarily disciplined or dismissed by your employer;
- You have not been paid or have not been paid correctly.
It is important to promptly seek legal advice if any employment issues arise as strict timeframes apply to certain remedies that may be available to you.
If You Are a Contractor
At law there is a distinction between a contractor and an employee. Essentially an employee will often receive benefits that a contractor would not normally be entitled to (including prescribed rates of minimum pay, leave, loading and superannuation amongst other things).
As there is no clear test as to the distinction between a contractor and an employee it is common for employers to get the distinction wrong. In such event it may be the case that you have a claim against an employer relating to entitlements that have not been provided.
How We Can Help
Whether you are an employer, employee or contractor we can assist in all areas of employment law and help clarify or identify legal problems and legal solutions to ‘get the job done’.
For further information please contact: