Home » Employment contract terms and non-disparagement clauses are under a microscope
Written by: Eloise Turnbull, Employment Law Solicitor

In the dynamic realm of business, contracts lay the foundation for smooth operations and collaborations. But let’s face it – not all contract terms are created equal. Non-disparagement clauses aim to stifle criticism and negative opinions about a company, however, there is some commotion around their fairness.

As an employer, staying ahead of the game means understanding the new playing field, where clauses like these are under the microscope– you might want to pay extra attention.

Protecting Your Reputation vs. Free Speech

Non-disparagement clauses are like a double-edged sword. On one hand, they aim to protect a company’s reputation from unjustified negativity. On the other, they might inadvertently stifle honest opinions and feedback. Picture this: employees unable to voice concerns about workplace safety or customers feeling afraid to express their views on your products or services. Striking the right balance between safeguarding reputation and allowing open dialogue is crucial.

Unfair Employment Contract Terms

In addition, employment terms that do not meet the minimum legal standards of the Fair Work Act 2009 and the National Employment Standards, may lead to legal action and penalties imposed on the employer. Terms that are unfair may include deliberate fine print, convoluted and technical language and/or clear imbalance/favor of rights to one party over the other.

The Road Ahead

As an employer, the ball is in your court. The world of contracts is changing, and with it comes an opportunity to enhance your business practices. To navigate this evolving legal landscape, contact our Employment Law team today. We can create a clear roadmap that guides you through the maze that contract law can be, helping you draft fair and reasonable contracts that stand up to scrutiny while safeguarding your business interests, growth and reputation.

What else?

Unfair Consumer Contract Terms

Also in recent news, the Australian government has stepped up its game, raising penalties for unfair contract terms in consumer contracts to a whole new level. This means the standard form contracts and consumer contracts you draft, those seemingly innocuous lines, are now under a magnifying glass too. With the amendments coming into effect on 10 November 2023, there’s a window to review and adjust your contracts. For more information see our article regarding the Unfair Contract Terms regime here.

If you have questions regarding your employment rights, contact our Employment Law team today.

Ph: 07 5444 1022


The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of a professional. This information does not consider your personal circumstances and may not reflect the most current legal developments. Should you need advice, please contact our firm for targeted information relating to personal your situation.