Employment Contract

3 Ways to Legally Break an Employment Contract

In general, employment contracts are serious, legally binding documents. They are usually created with the help of employment lawyers to ensure that they are well written and contain provisions for most circumstances.

Despite this, it’s usually possible to legally break an employment contract, both as an employer and as an employee. It’s always worth speaking with a lawyer if you’re not sure about your rights, but we’ve put together a quick list of three ways to legally terminate an employment contract. These include:

  1. By Providing Adequate Notice and Paying Accrued Entitlements

As an employer, you can legally break an employment contract by providing adequate notice and ensuring you pay all outstanding leave and other entitlements. You should speak to employment lawyers and your employer’s guidelines, but the minimum notice periods in Australia are:

  • One week for less than one year of employment.
  • Two weeks for one to three years of employment.
  • Three weeks for three to five years of employment.
  • Four weeks for five or more years of employment.

Note that these are absolute minimums, and there will be situations where more notice is required. For example, if your contract includes information about the amount of notice to be given, you will have to abide by this. Seek legal advice for further information.

Note also that there are two things that could happen here; (1) the employee will continue working until the end of the notice period or (2) the employee will be terminated immediately, but will be paid until the end of the notice period.