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New Zealand company brings in visual contracts as an alternative

Must See 28/09/2018

A New Zealand company has switched to using visual employment contracts, cutting out more than 5,500 words and adding in illustrations.

Aurecon, an engineering and infrastructure advisory company, says it's the first company in Australasia to use contracts of this kind.

It says the employment contracts are free of legal jargon and they're similar to a comic strip.

"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 Andersen, who helped develop the contracts.

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Aurecon regional director for New Zealand Carl Devereux said the company wanted to make the employment contract more meaningful.

"The issue of engaging our talent and building their trust is becoming one of the biggest competitive differentiators across many industries and companies," he said. 

"Aurecon is a New Zealand firm operating across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East, with a culturally diverse workforce. Meaning can often be lost between offices, countries, cultures, and languages."

Mr Devereux said contracts should be written in accessible language so prospective employees truly understand and feel comfortable about signing them.

The contracts were launched in August, and more than 70 new employees have signed them so far. By the end of 2018 the company expects 1200 employees will have signed on.

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