Just like any other legal documents, employment contracts are a requirement to many countries in the world. Both the employers and employees need to understand what the employment contract entails in order to meet the expectations of both parties. This is also to guarantee that there is a good working agreement between the employer and employees. An employment contract should clearly explain the employment policies and practices. It can be quite a challenge, but there are ways on how to properly manage it.
Here are the top three tips on managing employment contracts.
- Use a template and keep it concise.
This is extremely useful to big companies with hundreds of employees in several countries. Having a basic template for an employment agreement could be easily disseminated and followed by the Human Resource department. It would be very complicated if there is no basic template for an employment contract especially if the operations of the company is quite large. The basic template should cover the company’s requirements, corporate policies, and other necessary clauses. State all of the important information in clear terms and keep it as concise as possible. Keep it to a few pages possible and make sure that you avoid confusing words. Even though an employment contract is a legal document, it does not have to appear complicated. The key here is to use everyday language that emphasizes clarity and avoids complex vocabulary that many would have a hard time understanding.
- Keep an employment contract updated and have it signed.
Do Contracts of Employment need to be signed? A contract of employment does not really need to have to be in written form and signed in order for it to be valid. Once an applicant accepts the job, a binding contract of employment between the employer and applicant has already taken place. There is no need for witnesses and signature in order to make it legally valid. However, as a best practice, it would be best to have an employee sign the contract of employment and have it given back to you. This is to ensure that there is a written agreement between the employer and employee should any dispute happen in the future. The written contract will set clear the terms and conditions between the two parties. And if the employee’s job description changes, it would be best to have the contract re-signed or re-written if necessary.
- Give an applicant some time and make sure that they understand the contract.
Oftentimes, employment contracts are not properly understood by employees because of one main reason – lack of time in understanding the contract. Once you have presented the applicant the employment contract, give them enough time to understand it and absorb the implications stated. This would depend entirely on how complex the document is, but it is extremely important that the employee has some careful thoughts in checking out the document in private first before they agree and sign it. This is a win-win situation for both parties and will avoid any hastened decisions that can cause any disagreement in the future.