10 October A message from the CEO: Employment contracts October 10, 2017 By Reef Admin Employment agreements 0 A question REEF CEO Bryan Wilcox is often asked with whether workplace policies should be included in employment contracts. Here, he explains why it's not recommended. The Federal Court of Australia decision in Nikolich v Goldman Sachs JBWere Service Pty Limited in 2006 sounded a warning to employers about this practice. So why is incorporating workplace policies into employment contracts a bad thing? Because there’s the risk an employee could sue their employer for breach of contract if the employer fails to comply with their own policies. In the Nikolich decision, the employee complained about their manager. The Federal Court found that the employer had failed to comply with its own HR policies regarding workplace health and safety, harassment and grievance procedures. These policies were incorporated into the employee’s employment contract. The employer’s failure to comply with the policies resulted in the complaint being handled in what the court described as an “extremely inept” manner, with the employee suffering depression and ultimately losing their job. The Federal Court awarded the employee $500,000 in damages for the psychiatric injury and economic loss resulting from the breach of the employment contract. REEF’s template employment contracts are designed with a view to not incorporate workplace policies. If you have any questions about REEF’s template employment contracts or workplace policies, please give us a call on 1300 616 170. Related A message from the CEO: Beware changing REEF templates I always emphasise to members that they shouldn't change or modify REEF template employment agreements or commission structures without talking to us first. Why? The answer is simple. A message from the CEO: Stay up to date to stay compliant Compliance. It's a word that strikes fear into the hearts of many employers. But it goes hand in hand with running an agency – and now with the start of the new Real Estate Industry Award, it's never been more important. A message from the CEO: Why REEF is ahead of the pack Do a quick Google search and you'll quickly find a long list of employment advisors out there who want to help you – for a hefty fee! – should you find yourself in hot water. But not all advisors are created equal. A message from the CEO: What's happening at REEF It's hard to believe we're halfway through the year. What started as a busy year shows no sign of slowing down. Here's just a few things we've been focused on. Keeping post-employment restraints intact Enforcing a post-employment restraint can be extremely complex – and expensive! Matthew Robinson provides tips to help members through the process and maximise their chances of success. Court finds 15km post-employment restraint reasonable One of the most common problems faced by real estate employers is what to do to protect the commercial goodwill of the business from exploitation by ex-employees. REEF's Workplace Relations Advisor, Laura Clark, examines this all to common problem and details a recent Supreme Court case where a real estate employer successfully had a post-employment restraint upheld. Comments are closed.