Is the way of the future a visual contract?
A visual contract is a way of creating a binding legal contract without really complex words and legal jargon. Rather, it contains pictures, words and flow charts.
Why? Consider that many of the people who read contracts are not lawyers. in fact, they may not be well educated, or English could be their second language.
In May 2018, Aurecon became the first company in Australia to launch a visual employment agreement, distributing it to all employees across its workforce. Aurecon are not the first to use a visual contract. The South African fruit export company, indigo Fruit has previously introduced a visual employment agreement for fruit pickers who are largely illiterate.
Are they binding?
Former Chief Justice of the High Court, Robert French AC, expressed at a conference in December 2017 that he saw, “no reason in principle why pictorial contracts explained orally or supplemented textually or contextually could not be enforceable in the same way as any other contract”.
Having said that, there may be a chance that they could be interpreted in different ways. But then again, so can a written contract, particularly if it is not well written.
So, why am I talking visual contracts?
I’ve been cooking up some inventions in the Remote Expert kitchen this past week.
You see, the remote work world has a LOT of digital nomads and people who live in different jurisdictions and speak numerous languages (more on that on an article about tax treatment of digital nomads in Australia later in the week).
While the courts haven’t yet made a ruling on a pictorial contract in Australia, what IS clear is that the simplicity of the pictorial contract is something to aim for. The reduction of legalese supported by clear pictures is a step forward towards plain english contracts.
Which is why I am launching my first hybrid visual contract on the Remote Expert website.
How do you get your hands on it?
The CoWorking Space Membership Agreement available here is a clear agreement, supported by pictures that can be better understood by the average person and those without the necessary legal or literary skills to interpret contracts like a lawyer.
I also offer customised co-working space agreements and other contracts and policies if you require something a little more bespoke. Get in contact here for a free 15 minute discovery call.