The key to any successful business is a good employment contract. Employment contracts must be written with care and comply with various labor laws.
An employment contract sets out the rights and obligations of the concerned parties. It serves as an agreement between an employer and an employee. Depending on the relationship between the employer and employee, the nature of the company, and the obligations and rights both parties set out to create, the employment contract can take different forms.
While it’s always better to have a written contract that sets out the terms of the business, the law implies that other agreements are still valid contracts.
For the employment contract to comply with and be recognized under the law, certain conditions must be met.
The employer and employee must address elements of the agreement to protect themselves. Having a qualified lawyer to review employment contracts is the best way to protect both parties and ensure compliance with employment law.
Here are three reasons you should always get a lawyer to review your employment contract.
1. To Ensure it Meets Minimum Standards
For an employment contract to fulfill an employer’s legal obligations, employers must comply with pay rates. They must also know if an employee is covered by a national award. If an employee is covered by a national award, the employer must comply with the award requirements.
Other details to specify in an employment contract include whether employment is fixed-term, casual, or ongoing and the length of notice required by both the employee and employer before terminating employment. The employment contract must also specify the employee’s leave entitlements and working hours.
As an employer, you need to protect your business. As an employee, you need to protect your rights. An employment lawyer will ensure the employment contract meets the minimum standards as set out by the law.
2. To Ensure Fair Termination and Redundancy
Although nobody enters a position expecting to be fired or made redundant, the employment contract must detail the terms of termination. Terminating with cause usually entails being fired for misconduct or a breach of contract.
Termination without cause means the company can fire an employee due to anything that does not fall under the “with cause” terms. Sometimes, termination without reason is known as at-will termination. An employment lawyer can explain how you can be terminated so you can avoid it.
3. To Review Restraint of Trade Clauses
In most states, it is legal for an employer to have non-compete or restraint of trade agreements in an employment contract. Hiring an employment lawyer will help you determine whether any non-compete clauses in your contract are legally valid.
Usually, non-compete agreements are reasonable. For instance, your employer may restrict you from working at another company in a similar role or industry within a small radius of their company. Understanding any non-compete agreements in your employment contract will help determine where you can work after leaving the company.