Most Australian speech pathology employment contracts are like Frankenstein’s monster: bits and pieces dug up from random places at different times and stapled together haphazardly.
Some speech pathology contracts are “adapted” from contracts used to hire other kinds of professionals. Others are drafted by lawyers who don’t know anything about speech pathology practice. I’ve reviewed plenty of speech pathology contracts that refer randomly to OT or medical services, for example, and one that referred to IT-services!
Some employment contract precedents just look unprofessional (e.g. no page numbers, missing definitions, corrupted formatting, different fonts, filled with typos). Others are unprofessional, containing unethical, unenforceable and even illegal provisions as well as basic drafting errors you (or your employee) could drive a truck through if there were a dispute.
Now, no-one wants to spend money on expensive lawyers. But, at Speechies in Business, we think we can provide a better “base precedent” without costing an arm and a leg. So we’ve drafted this employment agreement template (in PDF and Word formats), specifically for use by Australian speech pathologists in private practice.
We’ve designed the template to be consistent with:
- Fair Work Australia template contracts;
- the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020 (MA000027);
- the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act (Cth) 2009;
- Speech Pathology Australia’s Code of Ethics (including Advertising Policy); and
- the profession’s scope, range and areas of practice in Australia, as defined in the Professional Standards for Speech Pathologists in Australia (2020) published by SPA.
The template has been updated so it incorporates increases to the Award as a result of the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review 2022-2023 Decision, that took effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2023.
As always, we recommend you seek legal advice about areas of concern – e.g. clauses specific to your business needs, or clauses that seek to restrain employees from taking clients or competing with you after employment.