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Welcome [First Name][Last Name] to [Insert Club Name]

25 May 2017

By far the most popular templates available in the Clubs New Zealand Resource Room are the model employment agreements, and it makes sense, legally every employee must have a written employment agreement.

Unfortunately, however, we are discovering that a number of clubs are not reviewing the templates and making necessary changes before presenting them to prospective employees, and yes there are employment agreements out there with [insert club name] still prominently displayed on the front cover.

While there is a responsibility for both the employer and employee to bring any potential errors contained within the employment agreement to the attention of the other party (acting in good faith), it is in your best interest as an employer to make sure you have reviewed and understood the terms of employment you are offering a prospective employee.

Errors in employment agreements can end up being costly as was shown in the case between the New Zealand Defence Force and Michael Beauchamp. Michael Beauchamp was employed as NZDF financial controller and later as finance director for eight and a half years, but was made redundant in April 2012 after the finance section was restructured.   He was paid $42,778 in redundancy but complained to the Employment Relations Authority because it was significantly less than his individual employment agreement specified. In the authority's decision, it revealed the Defence Force's chief admitted there was an error in Beauchamp's 2008 employment agreement, which was repeated in a subsequent contract in 2011. His redundancy entitlement was recorded as $116,400 - the amount of his annual salary - when it should have been at most $42,000.

If you are unsure about the terms and conditions of employment you are putting before a prospective employee, or have not double checked all names, figures and values that are required…….do not hand over that employment agreement until you have sought legal advice.

For more information on the model employment agreements available in the resource room please contact Clubs New Zealand on 0800 4 CLUBS, we can also put you in touch with legal advice if required.

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