What should be in my employment contract?

There are standard items that are contained within most employment contracts. These include items such as:

  • Job Duties
  • Salary/Wages and Bonuses
  • Hours of Work and Overtime
  • Vacation
  • Benefits
  • Other perks (car allowance, phone allowance, gym membership etc.)
  • Non-competition/Non-solicitation clauses
  • Termination clause (what happens if you are let go from the job)

Most of these are in place to protect your employer because they help to solidify the terms of your relationship, but they can protect you as well. It is important to ensure that all of the terms that you discussed with your employer are set out within the written contract. This is because an employment contract will often contain language towards the end that describes it as the “entire agreement” between you and your employer, so anything you had discussed with them verbally will not be included as part of the agreement.

You should review the contract carefully with a lawyer prior to signing, and if there were any terms or perks that they had promised that you don’t see in the agreement, ask to make sure that they are included so that you have that extra degree of certainty.

One last thing – your written employment contract is not the only part of your contract. There may be other documents that govern the workplace, such as an employee handbook or any workplace policies. You’ll be expected to abide by those as part of your employment, so they form part of your contract as well.