Aurecon will be the first company in Australia to use a visual employment contract, eliminating more than 4,000 words from its employment contracts to create a succinct and meaningful visual contract that uses illustrations to complement the text.
“Aurecon is the first company in Australia to do anything like this, and globally this is the first time a visual employment contract has been focused at all levels of an organisation in a commercial context,” says University of Western Australia law professor Camilla Anderson, who helped develop the contracts.
“We should live in a world where contracts are written in accessible language – where people truly understand, and feel comfortable signing an employment contract. A world where relationships are set up to succeed by aligning expectations and developing the right culture at the outset,” says Aurecon’s global chief people officer, Liam Hayes.
“Too often, contracts are too complicated for their own good … We expect these contracts will lead to easier on-boarding and a more open and transparent employee relationship.”
However, it is not yet confirmed whether visual contracts are enforceable.
“We strongly believe that there is no reason why a contract like this can’t be equally enforceable simply because there are pictures and simple language instead of detailed legal terms – although, until we actually have such a contract enforced in a court somewhere we can’t know for sure,” says Anderson.
Former Chief of Justice of Australia, Robert French, agrees with Anderson. He has stated that as long as the meaning of the pictures in contracts is clear, then they qualify as binding.