How to create offer letters for employees in Australia


Mar 13, 2024

When you hire an employee in Australia, one of the first things you’ll do is send an employment offer letter.

Remember that Australia has over 100 'Modern Awards'. Your offer letter should be tailored to the Award's minimum requirements corresponding to the role’s underlying industry. If you’re unsure which Award applies, you can use the Australian government’s Pay and Conditions Tool.

You should also remember to include a Fair Work Information Statement in addition to the job offer letter. This statement outlines minimum employment conditions and is legally required for new hires. 

It’s crucial to get the employment agreement right. Not only will it clearly state the offer of employment and conditions of employment to the potential employee, but it'll also help keep you compliant with labour laws in Australia so you can avoid costly legal disputes and penalties.

Here’s everything you need to send a legally compliant offer letter to hire a full-time employee in Australia.

Australia job offer letter checklist

  • Position (job title), job description, job duties, start date, and probationary period. You should explain that their suitability for their job duties will be evaluated during their probationary period. In Australia, probationary periods are decided by the employer and typically last from three to six months. Unfair dismissal laws come into effect after six months.
  • Working hours and days. Outline the expected days and working hours and any overtime policies that the employee will be subject to. Under Australia’s labour laws, the maximum number of hours an employee can work per week is 38 hours plus reasonable additional hours. Overtime rates vary depending on which Modern Award category applies, as different industries set different requirements. For more on working hours and overtime, read our guide to hiring in Australia.
  • Compensation and benefits
    • Salary. Specify the employee's salary or hourly compensation in AUD, along with any other compensation they may receive (equity compensation, bonuses, commissions, etc.).
    • Equity. If applicable, specify any equity compensation they'll receive. The most common types of equity compensation for employees in Australia are stock options and Employee Share Schemes (ESS).
    • Benefits. Benefits could be outlined in the offer letter, but be sure to address them in general terms so that an amendment to the offer letter isn't required if they change in the future. In Australia, the following benefits are mandatory for full-time employees (though not always listed in an offer letter):
    • Annual leave. The employment contract should include details about your company's annual leave policy, especially if you offer more leave than the statutorily required annual leave in the corresponding Award category. To learn more about leave and public holiday pay in Australia, read our guide to hiring in Australia.
  • Payment frequency. Specify whether the employee will be paid weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. You should also mention the payment method.
  • Termination policy. Clearly explain the terms of termination, including the notice that will be provided, and any conditions that may lead to termination. In Australia, employers generally can’t terminate an employee without first giving written notice of their last day. Minimum notice periods vary depending on an employee’s length of continuous service. Employers can pay terminated employees out through their notice period in lieu of letting them work until their last day.
  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure. Include in the offer of employment a clause outlining the employee's responsibilities regarding confidentiality and non-disclosure of the company's information.
  • Contact information and phone number.
  • Other key details. If there are any other key details relevant to your company's policies and procedures, include them in the offer letter.
    • If the offer is contingent on any conditions—like satisfactory results from a routine background check, signing company policies documents, proof of their eligibility to legally work in Australia—then list these out.
    • Request that the employee signs and returns the offer letter to confirm their acceptance of the job before their start date.
  • Non-compete and non-solicit agreements. Include provisions outlining the employee’s non-competition and non-solicitation responsibilities after leaving your company—but only if they’re appropriate for your employee and permissible in the relevant Modern Award category.

How to hire and set up employees in Australia in 90 seconds with Rippling

With Rippling, offer letters for employees in Australia, as well as contractor agreements, are automatically localised—no matter where your new hire is from. 

Whether you’re a US company looking to hire Australian workers, an Australian employer, or an employer based elsewhere, Rippling can help you hire, onboard, and set up employees in Australia within minutes through our entities or your own. 

Just click 'hire' and Rippling can support your global payroll and hiring right out of the box:

  • Set up a localised Australian employment agreement.
  • Pay employees and contractors in Australia and worldwide—without waiting for bank transfers or conversions.
  • Tailor your policies and benefits for Australia.
  • Easily stay compliant with Australia’s overtime, leave, and minimum wage laws.
  • Automate nearly any payroll process with custom workflows and reminders
  • Manage international employees’ time and attendance in a single system.
  • Build unified reports using both domestic and international HR data.

Rippling is the only platform that offers everything you need to manage a global workforce, all in a single system.

Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It does not (and is not intended to) constitute legal advice. Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.

last edited: March 29, 2024

The Author

Jackson Knapp

Jackson is a writer and editor from DC, based in LA. He covers HR trends for Rippling.