When it comes to employment agreements the fine print matters. Employers know that a properly drafted employment agreement can severely reduce a number of employee rights. This is why they use employment contracts in the first place.
Without an employment contract employers have no right to:
- Make serious changes to your pay, duties, reporting relationships and location;
- Prevent you from competing with your employer following departure;
- Prevent you from soliciting clients and other employees;
- Pay you only the statutory minimum termination entitlements;
- Terminate you during a probationary period; and
- Make deductions from your pay.
With an employment contract employers gain a significant upper hand. This is especially so at the time of termination as severance limiting clauses have become quite common. A properly drafted severance limiting clause will do just that. You can be terminated with only minimal notice or pay.
Why would anyone agree to these clauses? Unfortunately, very few employees understand that they have a choice! That’s right – employees have the right to negotiate these contracts and improve the terms. The key is understanding when and how. This is where Whitten & Lublin Employment & Labour Lawyers can help. On a day-to-day basis we help clients negotiate, improve, interpret and challenge employment contracts.
Before signing any new or amended employment contract you should have it reviewed by a lawyer with experience dealing with these contracts. Our lawyers can provide you with assistance related to improving the offer of employment, including compensation, benefits and other perquisites, as well as, giving you an understanding of those clauses that pose a risk for you and should be removed. We can even help walk you through the process and in some cases we perform the negotiation for you.
If you are asked to sign an employment contract, get advice first. Call Whitten & Lublin.