What Is an Employment Agreement?
An employment agreement, otherwise known as an employment contract, is a written document signed between an employer and employee before starting work. The document outlines essential terms of the employment, such as the salary and benefits, duties and expectations, working hours and vacation time. It is highly advisable to include a reference to cause and notice in the event of termination. It is also of utmost importance to sign this document before beginning to work, as the agreement for work goes over not only privileges and gains by both parties, but mentions important rights and responsibilities of the company towards the employee and vise versa.
A well-written thorough agreement for employment clarifies tasks, duties, rights, and responsibilities of the two parties and helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts at the place of work. Browse the employment agreement templates provided below for a ready-made solution to all of your HR needs.
How to Write an Employment Agreement?
There are certain items to watch out for when signing the agreement:
- Although it is tempting to check the salary and benefits first, it is recommended to verify your job title and description as the most important part of the contract;
- Make sure the list of your duties and tasks corresponds to the general responsibilities you applied for and to those discussed during the job interview;
- Carefully examine the amount and conditions of the salary, wages, bonuses or commission. You should know exactly how and when you will be paid. The criteria for bonuses should be clearly stipulated;
- Scrutinize all mentioning of the benefits, because sometimes they can amount to your salary or even surpass it, especially in case your employer offers an employee stock options plan. Holidays and sick leave should be spelled out as well;
- Pay attention to the modalities of your schedule. If you are hired part-time, full-time, on a flexible schedule or if you are expected to work overtime – it should be written in the contract letter;
- If you are hired for a determined time-frame, as opposed to permanent or long-term, do check the duration of your employment;
- Although you may be asked to sign a non-disclosure statement, sometimes an agreement for workplace may include a clause on confidentiality;
- Rarely a contract will include a clause on a future competition called a Non-Compete Agreement (NCC) or any other special clause that protects the interests of the company.
Make sure you are comfortable with the agreement’s clauses and are able to commit to them, because in the case you cannot, there may be legal consequences for you and the burden of emotional discomfort. If your responsibilities are not formulated with precision, you may end up doing things do cannot or don’t want to do. Most times it will result in you pulling a heavier workload than anticipated.
Things to Check before Signing an Employment Contract
The agreement for employer mainly concerns so-called restrictive clauses. They generally take effect after the employee leaves the company and are important as they guarantee and protect the interests of the business, its clients and employees. Apart from the above-mentioned NCC, there is a clause on non-solicitation, non-dealing, and non-poaching. Do consult an employment lawyer to know more.