Fed Govt launches online tool for SME employment contracts

Fed Govt launches online tool for SME employment contracts

The Federal Government has rolled out a new self-guided digital tool that generates tailored employment contracts for small business owners, compliant with Australian workplace laws.

By answering a series of questions through a web-based portal, the aptly named Employment Contract Tool creates tailored contracts for employees regulated under Australia’s Fair Work Act, based on the terms and conditions of the relevant award that applies to their business.

The tool is intended to ease the regulatory burden on SMEs taking on new employees, supplying key information required by a business to understand their employment obligations.

The online process, which takes roughly 30 minutes to complete, only requires employers to know the name of their industry award; the tool, meanwhile, identifies necessary conditions to provide to an employee, and optional clauses to set expectations and protect the business.

The Employment Contract tool can be used for full-time, part-time, and casual employees covered by an award, but only for those paid an hourly or weekly wage; due to their complex requirements, salaries are not covered by the tool.

At the end of the online process, the tool supplies a downloadable employment contract and letter of offer in a Microsoft Word document.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter said the Employment Contract Tool was developed in close consultation with SME owners, undergoing “extensive user testing” to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Porter said he recognised how “confusing” the initial hiring process could be for businesses, resulting in SME owners delaying hiring decisions or even putting them off entirely due to fear of making a mistake.

“The Employment Contract tool builds on the Government’s Hiring Employees checklist, which guides employers through the required steps when hiring an employee, including recruitment and employment types, pay requirements, tax and superannuation and ending employment,” said Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ben Morton.

Small businesses are a key part of Australia’s business landscape, accounting for 98 per cent of all local businesses and employing over 4.7 million people – more than 40 per cent of the business workforce.

The new Employment Contract Tool can be accessed here.