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Employment Agreements: Q & A

If you have any specific questions please give us a call.


It is sick leave, which is paid, if the employee has 10 days of sick leave owning. An employee can take paid sick leave if “a person who depends on the employee for care is sick or injured”.

For miscarriages and still births, employees are now entitled to take bereavement leave. The wording in your Employment Agreements may need to be updated to reflect this.

Yes, IEAs must specify the time of day or a time range within which breaks will be taken.

Employees should have a pay increase offered to them in writing. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a new Employment Agreement. It could be a letter of variation. They should also be provided sufficient time to seek independent advice about the offer before having to respond, and return a signed copy of the letter to the employer to agree the change, before the increase is actioned.  The employer keeps the signed copy of the letter for their records and audit requirements.

If the employee doesn’t want to agree the terms and conditions in the IEA, they shouldn’t sign the IEA, and you can’t require them to sign it.  However, you should not start an employee in a role until you have a signed IEA. i.e. No signed Agreement – no job. A signed IEA is a legal requirement and there are a number of risks for the employer if they have an employee do any work without previously finalising and signing off an IEA.

If you have an existing employee who refuses to sign a new agreement, ask why. Try to resolve any outstanding issues for them. If ultimately they won’t sign it, you can’t require them to, and the terms and conditions in any previously signed Agreement continue to be the terms and conditions. This means if you have offered (but not yet instigated) a new pay rate, and the employee won’t sign a new Agreement, don’t pay the increase.

Let us know any other questions you have that we might include in future Q&A articles by emailing them to [email protected]

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Help with anything in the employment life cycle from recruitment and employment agreements to disciplinaries and disputes and anything else in between.


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