What Can Happen If I Breach My Employment Contract?

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April 19, 2020
Breach My Employment Contract

Employment contracts are legally binding agreements between an employer and an employee, often created with the help of a qualified employment lawyer. Since employment contracts are legally binding, there can be serious consequences if they are breached.

However, what many people don’t realise is just how serious these consequences can be. In the rest of this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about what could happen if you breach your employment contract. If you believe you may have broken your contract, we’d highly recommend speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible to minimise the damage.

One thing that’s worth quickly noting here is that contracts can be breached by employees and employers alike, so keep that in mind.

What Are the Penalties for Employees Breaching a Contract?

Under Australian law, employment contracts are legally binding documents, and there can be significant penalties if you break them. Two of the most common penalties include:

  • Being sued for damages, which can be significant. In one high-profile case in 2009, a former employee was taken to court and ordered to pay over $500,000 in damages to an Australian financial broking company.
  • Being prevented from working with a competitor. Many contracts have something that’s called a “restraint of trade provision”, which essentially prevents an employee or former employee from working with a competitor for a specified amount of time.

Unfortunately, complex employment contracts are often written well and truly in favour of the employer. It’s extremely important to work through your contract with an employment lawyer before you sign it. Doing so will help ensure you suffer minimal penalties if you do have to break contract.