Some points are not negotiables in an Employment Contract
Top talent employees are often lured by companies with perks like catered lunches, free gym memberships and unlimited vacation. While these are the ‘nice-to-haves’, they’re not the ‘must-haves’ of a strong contract.
Learn about the the most important aspects of an employment contract before signing on the dotted line.
What is not negotiable:
It would not be entirely out of place to judge the quality of the company that’s hiring based on the diligence and content of the employment contract they offer. The point of the hiring contract is to be able to clearly outline employment standards, any employer responsibilities and expectations as well as scope of the position and basic requirements like terms of employment, the job title, commensurate salary and the position’s required duties. Besides this, there are five broader clauses that definitely create a comprehensive employment contract.
The first makes clear the policies and terms regarding compensation; This means not only the salary being offered currently but what the process is for negotiating a higher pay, whether performance reviews will be conducted and what weight these will have in determining future pay and opportunities for advancement.
The next aspect should be regarding confidentiality; this is really more for the employer, who can use this section to outline the boundaries of internal data and trade secrets or other sensitive company information. Employers should also include a section regarding the company’s tech policy–specifically is it affects workplace privacy–and the use of social media on company property.
Specifics regarding benefits, sick days and the process that all employees need to follow when submitting claims or holidays should be outlined. Finally, the contract should include a large section on termination; this regards policies and procedures regarding termination from either side, reasons and grounds for termination and any parts of the process that need written notices.
Beyond the Employment Contract
These are the main clauses that help outline a company’s employment standards and really set the stage for internal workplace culture. So, the employment contract is more than just a document–created thoughtfully, it can be a compass for relationships within the company. But what about in cases requiring conflict resolution when there is a dispute arising?
It’s recommended that employers consider two things in addition to those points:
Firstly, an employment contract should outline procedures regarding arbitration and conflict resolution. How are these addressed? Is a third party to be brought in? Is arbitration or mediation in house sufficient?
Secondly, contracts can also choose to include policies regarding collective agreements and bargaining for union versus non-union employees.