Apr 18, 2017

Essentials Of A Contract Of Employment | Hightower Solicitors

This piece is scripted to educate business owners and prospective employees. To help draw their minds to what the essentials of a ‘contract of employment’ are. It is best that they become familiar with the concepts of this type of contract law.

A contract of employment is a contract in itself, and it has terms that would govern the relationship between the employer and the employee.

We acknowledge that employment contracts can take the form of a verbal understanding. Notwithstanding, with a contract, the essentials get spelled out in detail. For clarity and certainty.

For a contract to be valid, there must be;
1.     An offer and an unconditional acceptance,
2.     An intention to enter into legal relationship must be visible,
3.     and consideration must be furnished as well.

All of these must be in the absence of vitiating elements, such as duress, mistake, illegality, undue influence or misrepresentation from either of the parties.

Some Essentials To Note
  • One vital feature of a contract of employment is that the parties’ names and capacity has to be stated (i.e. the employer and the employee).
  • Also, the nature or title must be specifically indicated – the name of the position and the essential duties ascribed to such position. This ensures that the employee knows what is expected of her.
  • One important term in some employment contracts is a covenant not to compete, also known as a non-compete clause. These clauses restrict an employee – post-employment – from working for a competitor for a certain period of time. This usually keenly debated during negotiations.
  • Confidentiality clauses are also commonly found in employment contracts. These clauses may encompass a variety of things, such as trade secrets, business operations, and marketing strategies.
  • Ownership of Products: If your employees invent products within the scope of their employment, you can take ownership of these inventions by including a clause that expressly states your intention to do so. This is in tandem with the principles of Intellectual Property.
  • In addition, the duration of the employment contract should be clearly stated (i.e. commencement and end date). For instance,this contract of employment commences on January 19, 2017, and will end on January 20, 2020 or, this contract is to run for a period of three years starting from January 20, 2017. Conditions that may vary this length of employment should also be provided for.
  • The address of the workplace should be clearly contained in the contract of employment.
  • Furthermore, the mechanism to be applied for the evaluation of performance should be included in the contract, expectations and performance barometers should be carefully drafted.
  • Other clauses to be provided for include: hours of work (e.g. from 8am to 4pm), public holidays clause, leaves that are open to the employee (e.g. maternity leave, sick leave, annual leave, paternity leave etc.)
  • Another essential feature is the amount to be paid whether as wages, salary or on a percentage/commission basis, and in what currency the money is to be paid. Thus, the terms as to whether payment would be made hourly, daily, weekly or monthly should be clearly stated. Terminal benefits and retirement benefits should also be provided for.
  • Finally, there should be a provision for the termination of employment; this should cover likely incidents of misconducts, i.e. scenarios and instances under which the employment contract may be terminated.
At this point, after all negotiations are concluded, the contract would then be signed and dated by parties, and both provided with a copy of the signed agreement.

In the case you have any employment related problems, or queries, get in touch via +2347014979879 or hightowerlawyers@gmail.com.

Ed's Note - This article was first published here
Photo Credit - CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT | pixabay.com