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Tips for Drafting Employment Contract

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An employment contract is the basis for the cooperation between your employee and you as an employer. The contract states which rights and obligations you and the employee have. There is no specific example contract that's suitable for every company, in addition there is a good chance that you even have different employment contracts within one company. For example, because on- call workers, temporary workers, freelancers and permanent employees are present.

Invalid employment contract

The importance of a well-established contract is great. If it doesn't meet the legal rules, a contract will be voided. This is usually accompanied by a hefty amount or a fine that you have to pay to the government, tax authorities and / or employee in question. Therefore stick to the rules. Every employee must receive an employment contract and is entitled to at least the minimum wage and certain employment conditions. When do you have an employee? The Tax and Customs Administration states that an employment contract exists when the following three elements apply:

  • There is a relationship of authority
  • The employer pays wages to the employee
  • The employee is obliged to perform the work, he can't have someone else do it for him

Parts of employment contract

Which parts can all occur in an employment contract? We have highlighted a number of elements and described all the necessary tips and facts later in this file. View what applies to your company and how you can best incorporate this into the employment contract with your staff. An overview of the elements:

  • Probation
  • Contract duration
  • (Interim) cancellation period
  • Salary
  • Terms of employment
  • Holidays (if not included in the collective labor agreement)
  • Competition clause
  • Relationship clause
  • Confidentiality declaration
  • Clause for ancillary activities

Orally agreed contract

An employment contract is valid when it's agreed verbally. You're therefore not obliged to have something (signed) on paper. But because it quickly becomes your word against that of the employee, we strongly recommend that you put the agreements made on paper and have them signed by both parties. Have you nevertheless agreed on a contract orally? Then remember that the legal provisions apply in the base. Even if you said during the interview that the conditions are different within your company, they are invalid as long as nothing is on paper. After all, matters such as a probationary period and non- competition clause must always be agreed in writing.

Required written information

Every employer is obliged to inform an employee in writing about certain matters within one month of starting work. If you have verbally agreed on the employment contract, you must put this on paper separately, all other entrepreneurs can simply include these things in the employment contract. You may also provide this information digitally, provided that the employee agrees. Informing in writing concerns a number of basic matters to which every employee is entitled, namely:

  • Name and place of residence of employer
  • Name and place of residence of employee
  • Place or places where the work is performed
  • Job description and activities
  • Time of commencement of employment and duration of the agreement (for temporary contracts )
  • Calculation of the number of vacation days
  • Salary and the payment term
  • Usual working time expressed per day or per week
  • Notice period

In addition, there are a number of points that you must inform the employee in writing if you 'use' them. These matters are therefore optional, if you don't report this to the employee in writing, it doesn't apply to the employee. This includes:

  • Participation in the pension scheme
  • Participation in collective labor agreement (CLA)
  • Probation
  • Fees
  • Competition clause or relationship clause

Identification obligation

Don't forget to ask the new employee for proof of identification. Pursuant to the Compulsory Identification Act, you must make a copy of your passport or identity card at the start of your employment and keep it for five years after your employment ends. Note: you must keep it until the end of that calendar year. So if the contract is terminated on July 1, 20xx, you must keep the copy until December 31, 20(xx+5).

Youthful employees

Do you want to hire young employees under 16? Then you need permission from their parents or guardian. You can do this in writing, verbally or by silent consent. In the latter case, it's assumed that permission has been granted to enter into the employment contract if the legal representative hasn't protested within four weeks after the employee has started work. This method of silent consent is risky: if the parent or guardian protests within four weeks, then the employment contract is void and the employee in question may no longer work immediately. That's why it's smart to have the parents or guardian sign the employment contract for young employees or have the legal representative sign an authorization.

Adjust the employment contract in the meantime

Have you been employed for a long time, but do you find that a number of provisions aren't included in the contract, but are handy to have? Annoying, but you ca n't just change an employment contract . In most cases this must be done in consultation with the employee. If this doesn't agree, then it will stop and you may not implement the change. There are, however, a number of exceptions and it also depends on the situation. For example, more is possible with a temporary contract and a contract with a change clause than with a permanent contract without a clause .

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