It is important for employers to keep in mind that the words in employment contracts have meaning. Moreover, where it is the employer that has drafted the contract and sought the requested terms, in the event of a later dispute over said terms, it is likely the courts will give effect to the logical, common sense meaning of the contractual language and interpret any ambiguity in the employee’s favour.
terms of employment
There is certainly no “one size fits all” model when it comes to a written employment contract. The agreement doesn’t need to be long or complicated… or “formal”, but it is perhaps naïve in today’s work environment, including in the “gig economy”, to believe that the good natured feelings present at the beginning of the work relationship will always be there, or that you’ll part ways with a temporary or short-term employee on good terms in every instance; or to believe that everyone is in agreement as to just how “independent” the employee is.
Asking existing employees to sign new employment contracts can be a sensitive topic. Employees will undoubtedly wonder why they are being asked to do so. Many will quite rightly assume that the employer’s main motive for having new contracts be signed is to protect the employer – not the employee. Some will sign without issue, while others will refuse to do so.