What is a non award employment contract?

Key points about non-award contracts

A non-award employment contract is a type of employment agreement that is typically used when the terms and conditions of employment are not governed by an industry or occupation-specific award or agreement.

In many countries, including Australia, awards are legal documents that outline minimum pay rates, working conditions, and other employment standards for specific industries or occupations.

When an employment relationship falls outside the scope of a particular award, the employer and employee may enter into a non-award employment contract. This contract allows both parties to define their own terms and conditions of employment, subject to applicable employment laws and regulations.

Here are some key points about non-award employment contracts.


Non-award contracts offer flexibility in setting terms such as salary, working hours, leave entitlements, and other employment conditions. This flexibility can be advantageous for both employers and employees, as it allows for negotiation and customisation of terms to suit the specific needs of the job and the parties involved.


Although non-award contracts offer flexibility, they must still comply with relevant employment laws, such as minimum wage laws, workplace health and safety regulations, and anti-discrimination laws. Employers cannot include terms in a contract that violate these laws.


Non-award contracts often involve negotiation between the employer and the employee. This negotiation can cover various aspects of employment, including salary, bonuses, working hours, probationary periods, termination conditions, and more.


The contract typically outlines the conditions under which either party can terminate the employment relationship. It may specify notice periods or grounds for termination.


Non-award employees may still be eligible for benefits such as superannuation (retirement savings) contributions, paid leave (e.g., annual leave, sick leave), and other entitlements as defined by the contract.

Dispute resolution

Contracts often include clauses specifying how disputes between the employer and employee will be resolved, which may involve mediation, arbitration, or legal action.

Written agreement

It's important that the terms of a non-award employment contract are clearly documented in writing and signed by both parties to avoid misunderstandings or disputes later on.

Non-award contracts are common in industries or roles that do not have specific awards or where the employer and employee want more flexibility in defining their working relationship. However, it's essential for both parties to fully understand the terms and conditions of the contract before signing, and to seek legal advice if necessary, to ensure compliance with applicable labor laws and regulations.

For more information regarding employment guidelines, click the button below to read our article on Australian national employment standards.

What is a non award employment contract?

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