You’ve worked hard to build or manage a business,  and in an effort to ensure best employment practices and comply with the industrial relations system you’ve established a set of employment policies.

The policies are clear, they set standards and boundaries for your day to day operations, but did you know they could end up costing you money?  A recent case has shown that these policies can constitute a contractual relationship  between the employer and employee, and in cases where they are breached, the employer maybe liable for damages.

This week on YOU LEGAL TV we look at which factors may indicate that an employment policy is actually a contract.

See below for complete transcript of this episode –

We know that an employer is bound by the contract they have signed with their employees, but did you realise that in certain instances workplace employment policies may also be considered to be a contractual obligation and employees may sue for damages if they are breached?

In order to determine whether a work place policy is also part of the employment contract the court will consider the parties’ intentions and may look at the following factors, among others, as being indicative:

  • whether the policies require an employee signature;
  • whether the policies are part of a compulsory education program;
  • if the letter of engagement lists requires the policies to be observed at all times;
  • the language of the policy, and whether as a whole, it demands mutual compliance.

In other words, are the obligation placed on the employees reflected in the employer’s obligations? If a work place policy if found to be part of the employment contract a failure to comply with that policy by an employer may be considered a breach of contract. If it leads to litigation this may mean paying damages.

So if either as an employee or employer, you are concerned about the scope of your workplace policies, we here are You legal are ready to help.

What Should I Do Next?

Contact us if you would like further legal advice on the employment policiesOur lawyers at You Legal will be happy to assist you in whatever way we can.

* This blog is for general guidance only. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to any specific issues.