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This Remote Work Agreement is a contract for use when an employee is hired for a remote role under Australian employment law. "Remote work" is often also referred to as "working from home" or "teleworking". This Agreement can be used for a range of different employment types, including full time, part time, casual, and fixed term.
This Agreement is particularly useful for employers who are engaging employees for remote roles as a result of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
This Agreement sets out all of the terms of employment, including job duties, salary and benefits, work hours, confidentiality, annual leave and various other key terms. It also includes various terms relating to the remote work arrangements, including any equipment requirements, and any procedures for signing in for work and/or reporting to supervisors.
Various working arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic
In many cases, once an employer chooses to take on a new employee, the parties want to get started without delay. The employer may therefore wish to first provide the employee with a letter which spells out some of the key terms more briefly. In these situations, employers may wish to use our Letter of Offer of Employment, and then to follow it up with this Agreement.
However, this Agreement goes into more detail about the various terms of employment and provides a more robust document so that both the employer and the employee fully understand what is expected of one another, and how the employment arrangement may develop over time (for example, by providing details of pay rises). It also specifically deals with remote work arrangements.
If the employee has already been working with the employer under a different employment agreement, but is now just being converted to a remote role, then the parties may need to consider terminating the previous employment agreement, before entering this one. And if terminating the previous employment agreement, then the parties may need to consider if and how this can be done under Australian employment laws (including unfair dismissal laws). There may be issues to consider in relation to long service leave, annual leave, or sick leave. If in doubt, seek legal advice. Consider using our Deed of Release for Employment in order to terminate the previous employment agreement.
In fact, instead of terminating a preexisting employment agreement and replacing it with this one, many employers use our COVID-19/Coronavirus Employment Contract Amendment. This enables the parties to keep the previous employment agreement in place, but just change some of the terms in it (for example, by adding terms to allow for remote work).
For an ordinary employment situation (not necessarily for a remote role), consider using our Employment Agreement.
This Agreement is not suitable for use by contractors. Instead, contractors should use our Service Agreement.
How to use this document
This Agreement can be used by employers that hire a new employee, whether on a full-time, part-time, fixed term, casual or some other basis.
The employer should review any relevant awards or agreements and make sure that the terms set out in this agreement meet those minimum standards. If in doubt, the employer may consider getting legal advice.
Both the employer and the employee will need to sign the Agreement, and keep a copy for their own records.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) applies the National Employment Standards (NES), which are a set of minimum employment standards in Australia.
In addition, each state and territory has legislation that deals with various employment matters such as occupational health and safety or discrimination.
This Employment Agreement does not take into account the requirements of modern awards or enterprise agreements. If such an award or agreement applies, then that will set out some additional minimum standards with which the employer must comply.
General principles of contract law, as provided by the common law, may also apply.
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