job agreement

Legal Issues of a Contract of Employment

An employment contract, is an agreement between the employer and the employee. A contract could take the style of an old-fashioned written set of terms and conditions signed and agreed upon by both the employer and the employee.

Some contracts are not always in form of writing but could be implied through verbal agreements and are still valid. As soon as one accepts a job offer and starts work, the contract agreed upon during the hiring process becomes active.

Within two calendar months employees are legally entitled to a written contract that spells out the terms and conditions agreed upon. This shouldContract agreement include information about; leave, salary, working hours etc.  Contract is not only limited to the terms spelt out in writing but also other terms which could either be:

  1. Very clear and obvious to be written. Example of this can be that the employee should not steal from the company or employer.
  2. Obligatory for the contract to be valid. Example is, for an engineering job you need to have a valid engineering license.
  3. Custom and practice. Some other terms can be agreed upon as time moves by.

There are different types of contract and compensation agreements as discussed below.

Exclusive Employment

In this type of agreement, the employee agrees that he or she will not work for another company or person in a similar business, either on a part time or voluntarily basis as long as s/he is still employed.

Confidentiality Agreement

This part of the contract underlines the term that the employee should not leak or share business secrets about the employer’s business to their direct competitors. This agreement can also be valid even after the employee no longer works there.

Ownership of Discoveries/Inventions

This section covers for employees who may invent or come up with ideas related to the business. It states that any invention made by the employee during working hours becomes the employer’s invention.

No Additional Compensation

signing contractThis part of a contract states that should the employee serve in another capacity e.g. Serving as a member of a committee other than that he or she had been vested to serve he or she will not be entitled to any pay rise.

Termination

This clause takes a look into the termination of a contract by either party. It outlines that either party can end a contract by giving prior notice say 3 weeks. It may also legally allow the employer to terminate an employees contract incase of a breach of contract.