6 Important Strategies For Writing a Professional Employment Contract

how to write Employment Contract



Every solicitor, attorney or legal writer knows that employment contract protects the rights and obligations of an employer and his employee in any employment relationship.

Unfortunately, not all legal writers know how to write a professional contract of employment.

Do you know that writing a professional employment contract for a client can give you  more work and grow your career.

Many employment contract I have seen are just copies of one sample draft found somewhere online or in one legal drafting material or the other.

In this post, I am going to show you how to write a professional employment contract that will make you an outstanding legal writer.

This strategies will move clients to start running after you, and you will have a steady and secure income as a professional legal writer.

As  freelance legal writer, who has been in this job for some time and have written a popular post like  5 Reasons Why Employers Should Have Written Contract of Employment, which had attracted hundreds of page views and comments, I believe I have the experience to teach you this strategy. But, you still need to contact a solicitor(if you're not one) in your state for further advice.


1)   An Employment Contract Should Not Contain Ambiguous Words


Every time you write an employment contract for a clients, you are duty bound to expressly, clearly and specifically state all the rights and duties of both the employer and the employee.
The problem with most legal writers is that they use too many legalese or words that has more than one meaning, thereby, creating confusion for both parties in the contract.

When dispute arises as to breach of terms and conditions of employment, it becomes hard to interpret the terms and the conditions of the contract.

 What you are suppose to do is to use clear and unambiguous words while drafting an employment contract.

Let say for instance, you want to write the benefits of an employee in the contract. It will look like this:

                           Benefits

                 The Employer shall at its expense provide the Employee with
                 the Health Plan that is currently in place or as may be in place 
                 from time to time.

Looking at the above, an employee or an employer, whether with knowledge of the law or not, will understand the purport of the clause.

2)  An Employment Contract should Have Wide Express Terms


Employment contract has both the implied and express terms.  The express agreement of parties cannot vary the implied term because they are terms that binds both parties in law.

One of the ways to protect and safeguard the right of an employer to vary the terms of the contract is to write down the terms as wide as possible.

This strategy, though known to many legal writers, has enormous benefits.

First, it gives the employer the liberty to vary the terms of the contract at anytime provided he gives the requisite notice to the employee.

Secondly, it makes it easier for both parties to know and resolve grey areas when there are disputes.

3)  An Employment Contract Should Have a Job Description


One of the biggest benefits I have seen in any employment Contract is the inclusion of Job description which an employer may have used for the job advertisement.

I actually admire job description each time I see it in an employment contract such as this " a sample draft of employment contract", wherein the writer entitled the job description as "Position Title"

Include a job description in your employment contract, and you will relieve an employer of the need of given his employee a written statement of terms and conditions of work which is usually the case where there is no employment contract.

Inclusion of job description is a tactical way of avoiding spring surprises on the employee. No employee will like to take a job where the nature of the job is uncertain. You will save the employer of much troubles if you include a job description on the employment contract.

4  An Employment Contract Should Provide For The Salaries And Benefits of The Employees


Donna Ballman, an employee-side employment attorney and author of “Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired.”once said,

        If your employer has a written policy or contract prohibiting salary discussions, 

          you can report them to the National Labor Relations Board.”

I use to think that since an employee will be issued with a statement of terms and conditions of employment two months after his employment, there is no need to include salaries and benefits in employment contract.

I later realized that it was an error. An employment contract should provider for the salaries and benefits (such as commissions and insurance) of  an employee.

Why?

  • One of the main causes of employer -- employee dispute is salaries and benefits. So, I usually include it in all the employment contract I write for my clients
If you want to write an employment contract that will not occasion employer -- employee dispute in future, you need to include the salaries and benefits of an employee in the employment contract.

5)  An Employment Contract Should Have a Performance Review


Performance Review is annual or biannual (as the case may be) review usually issued to the employee by the employer through which the latter appraise the performance of the former.

Inclusion of performance review is of great importance to an employer.

We all know that every employer wants the best from his employees, and performance review is the only way an employee can assess the performance of every employee.

When you write an employment contract for a client, you should ask him (if he is an employer) how he would like to review the performance of his employees. If he says every year or every two years, make it to be part of the employment contract.

6)  An Employment contract Should Have a Termination Clause.


One of the real important clause you should add to your employment contract is a termination clause.

It's in the termination clause that you will state the power of both parties to determine the contract.

It's in the termination clause that you will state how and when the contract will come to an end

I have never argued with a client over a contract I wrote, I believe that the way I couch the termination clause in all the employment contracts I have written had made it easier for both parties to terminate their agreement after given the requisite notice to the other party.

If you termination clause is really good, you can bookmark or save it in secure place so that you can use it as a sample for other subsequent,similar work.

What are the strategies you use to write an Employment Contract?

I'd really love to hear the strategy use to write your own employment contract

Please leave a comment. I'd really appreciate it.