Some might say that “oral agreement is not an agreement at all”; But this is imprecise, especially in the context of employment. An oral agreement is just as binding as a written contract – the difference is that the conditions are difficult to prove. Sometimes it is in the interest of workers to have oral contracts, sometimes to their detriment. However, if you are an employer, a properly drafted employment contract is essential. If you do not have a written contract, you must provide evidence to support your version of the truth. In the case of an oral agreement, this may include all exchanged emails or text messages, payslips, etc. So why do lawyers insist that agreements be written, signed, dated and attested? It is not because these things are necessary to reach a binding agreement. It is intended to ensure that there is no uncertainty as to the appropriateness of an agreement and that there is no ambiguity as to the terms of that agreement. Also known as handshake contracts, oral chords are often used by small entrepreneurs because they are comfortable. Many small entrepreneurs want their employees to trust them and, as such, they consider that a documented contract is not necessary (or too formal). What many small entrepreneurs do not know is that these oral contracts are legally binding and that, when there is a dispute, it can give rise to a multitude of definitive questions. Having oral contracts is problematic not only if one tries to justify a breach of conditions, but it can also create situations where a party “violates” the conditions without knowing it simply because those conditions were not clear. In these cases, employers and workers may not have been on the same side.
A properly written contract can avoid these situations or, at the very least, help resolve the problem more quickly. A legally binding employment contract between the employer and the worker defines the conditions of employment. The provisions of employment contracts generally include an explanation of pay, health care and paid leave, pensions, workers` redress procedures and other specific conditions of employment. Regardless of the conditions, an employment contract is intended to ensure the protection of the employer`s interests and the fair treatment of workers. Ok, so you have an oral employment contract, and you`re pretty sure it`s legally applicable. However, in practice, oral agreements can be difficult to implement. This is because it is difficult to prove what has been agreed if it is the word of one person against another. It is important to remember that there is an agreement as long as there is an offer and acceptance with clear conditions.
It does not matter whether it is communicated in a formal legal document, signed and attested, by hand on the proverbial cocktail towel, in an exchange of emails or text messages or orally. The concern is that people need to be careful when it comes to negotiating opportunity and accidentally concluding a binding agreement. Otherwise, they could limit their possibilities and find themselves in a terrible legal situation. Tom offers Sam a job in his butcher shop. Sam accepts the offer. Tom offers Sam the terms of the deal. These include the higher wage share of the industry premium rate, hours of work that will be between 7 and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, the type of employment that will last part-time with a three-month trial period, and the date on which employment will begin.
Sam agrees with these conditions. Tom asks Sam to provide his bank account details, tax file number and details of Superannuation`s discovery on the first day of his work day. From a legal point of view, you do not have to have a written contract. However, if we say that everything is on paper, that is proof of agreement, if there is ever a problem. You can easily outline the terms of the job and all the expectations related to the employee relationship. This means that neither you nor the employee made any stones.