Allied Health Podcast Series 1 Episode 10

Dissecting an Allied Health Employment Contract

In Episode 10 Danielle and Clare give you their insights into Dissecting a Letter of Offer and Allied Health Employment Contract.

Speaker You’re listening to Allied Health Podcast, talking all things Allied Health with your hosts, Danielle Weedon, physiotherapist, and Clare Jones, occupational therapist.

Danielle Weedon In this short episode of Allied Health Podcast, we will cover off dissecting a letter of offer and an employment contract. This is a crucial stage of the recruitment process, and it’s important that you review the contract carefully and thoroughly. Ask somebody you know to review it, and seek HR or legal advice if you’re unsure of anything at all in the contract. At MediRecruit, we’ve assisted in reviewing hundreds of contracts across the years. So while we’re not HR or legal consultants, feel free to pick up the phone and ask us any questions you may have. Clare, tell us, what’s the difference between the letter of offer and the employment contract?

Clare Jones So a letter of offer is typically less formal than a contract. However, it’s still legally binding and you are required to sign it. It’s also very brief in the information that it provides. An employment contract, on the other hand, is a legal agreement between an employer and an employee. Broadly, the employment contract is a legal document that specifies what you’re being employed for and the terms of employment. Now, it’s really important that you don’t formally accept a role or sign a letter of offer or contract without reviewing and understanding both documents in detail.

Danielle Weedon And what should be covered in a letter of offer?

Clare Jones OK, so as I’ve mentioned, a letter of offer is typically brief, and it should state the position and the job title, the start date, the hours of work and location of work and pay and other entitlements.

Danielle Weedon OK, great, and what about employment contract. Have you got some tips for reviewing an employment contract?

Clare Jones Yeah, yeah, I’ve got four points to make here. So make sure you cross-reference both the job advertisement and the position description with the contract to make sure all the details match. Check that the job title description grade and salary scale included in the contract match the requirements of the job. Check the conditions of the probationary period. So the probation period is usually between three and six months, and this gives both you and the employer the opportunity to assess your suitability for the role. So during the probationary period, the employer can dismiss you, or you can leave the organisation with minimal notice. So the amount of notice that you need to give in the probation period will be specified in the contract. And finally, review in detail the employee conditions and entitlements that the contract is based on.

Danielle Weedon And what about, what should the employment contract cover?

Clare Jones So the contract is going to cover a lot of things. But to mention a few: it’ll cover the type of employment, whether it’s casual, permanent, fixed or fixed term contract; the salary and benefits and tools of the trade included with the role; the start date, your working hours, including options for flexible working hours. And this is something that we’re seeing increasingly negotiated now in contracts. It’ll include where the job is based. Your leave entitlements, so holiday, personal and carer’s leave. The notice period; so typically you’re required to give your employer two to four weeks notice if you leave the organisation. The disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures in place in the workplace will be mentioned in the contract. The restraint clause is very important. So a restraint clause in the contract applies when you leave an organisation or business. It’s in place to protect your employer. And generally, it will limit your capacity to work for a competitor or poach clients when you leave their employment. And finally, superannuation will be stated in the contract. We discuss superannuation in detail in a later episode.

Danielle Weedon Yeah great. So in a nutshell, that’s letter of offer and employment contract. Don’t forget that if you’ve got any questions about your contract or if there’s anything in the contract that you don’t understand, to seek clarification out by contacting the employer or the organisation’s HR department directly or by gaining advice from an independent HR or legal consultant. So hopefully you’ll join us next time when we interview Kathryn Clare, an exercise science and physiotherapy graduate who is working in the paediatric disability space.

Speaker We hope you enjoyed listening to the Allied Health Podcast. In the show’s notes, you’ll find links to our free recruitment resources, job opportunities and health care marketplace insights. To listen to new episodes, please subscribe via Apple, Google, or wherever you find your favourite podcasts. And if you’ve enjoyed the show, please give it a five star rating and review. And be sure to tell your therapy colleagues and friends to tune in.