When it comes to contracts within a business, there are few as vital as employment contracts. The reality is that these contracts are designed to protect both you, as the owner of the business, as well as your employees themselves from possible legal problems further down the line. That is why it is essential that they are comprehensive and do not omit any important information.
As part of your contract management strategy, here are four of the most common flaws to look out for before allowing your staff members to sign on the dotted line.
Outlining Outdated Legal Procedures
Employment law tends to change regularly, hence the reason why it is a good idea to update your employees’ contracts at least once per year. Read through each clause carefully to make doubly sure that it is still relevant and accurate. If you need to alter anything, you will also need your employees to acknowledge that they understand and accept the new information. Luckily, quality contract management software makes these steps easy and straightforward, especially if it has a negotiation of contracts feature that is guaranteed to save time.
Face it — the process of drawing up a contract is tiring and requires an immense amount of focus and research. It is for this reason that many business owners opt instead to source a pre-written contract from another business, or to download a basic template online.
Unfortunately, this approach is certain to lead to employment contracts that comprise of either irrelevant information, missing information, or both. It is always worthwhile to consult with a legal practitioner for assistance in terms of drafting an employment contract that is explicitly tailored to your business.
There is no need for your employees’ employment contracts to be 100 pages long. In fact, lengthy contracts that are unnecessarily wordy often lack clarity and may put employees off from actually sitting down and reading through them thoroughly. Instead, try to keep all contracts clear and straight to the point.
It is imperative that you make sure that the employment contract communicates the same message throughout, especially if certain matters and conditions are discussed in more than one section. For example, do not state that employees are entitled to 15 days of paid vacation leave on one page, only to state that they are entitled to 20 days on another.
For added peace of mind, you might want to think about hiring a qualified legal proofreader for help.
If you opt not to provide your employees with a written contract of employment, you will almost certainly run into legal issues in the future, especially if an employee intends to approach the court with a dispute.
This is why it is the bare minimum required by law for all business owners to supply their employees with written information regarding the main terms of employment within two months of hiring them. Be sure to consult with an attorney if you have any questions or concerns.