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What needs to be included in an employment contract?

Are you entering a new job? Do you want to make sure that the employment contract includes all the necessary clauses and requirements? Resolve Legal explains what must be included in an employment contract and what you need to watch out for as an employee.

What is an employment contract?

Every employee must have a written employment agreement. An Individual Employment Agreement (IEA) is a contract that dictates the terms of your employment position. It contains the rights and responsibilities of both the employee and employer and describes the employee-employer relationship. It sets the tone for the new employment and supports your integration as an employee into the new organisation. If there are any misunderstandings, it is often easier to clarify things by looking at the employment contract. An employment agreement is a crucial part of any employment relationship, so make sure it includes all the necessary components.

What needs to be included?

S65 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 dictates what needs to be in an IEA. We put together a list to help ensure that your employment contract follows legal requirements and have all the necessary components:

  • It must be in writing: An employment contract is only legally binding if it’s put into writing and both parties sign it.
  • The names of both the employee and the employer: so it is clear who the parties are to the agreement.
  • A job description: to clarify what the employee is expected to do and make their transition to the organisation simple.
  • Location of work: including any work from home days and arrangements.
  • Indication of hours: entailing the number of hours, the start and finish times or the days of the week that the employee will work.
  • A plain language explanation of services available for the resolution of employment problems: This needs to include a reference to the 90 days in which a personal grievance must be raised.
  • Amount of wages or salary to be paid: has to be equal or greater than the minimum wage and explain how it will be paid.
  • Other terms and conditions the employer deems fit to include: such as annual holidays, sick leave, public holiday pay and trial periods.
  • A signed copy must be kept on the premises, and both parties have to have an original document.

What can you do if something is missing?

If you believe that something is missing in your agreement, your first step would be to chat with your employer. This could simply be a misunderstanding or omitted by accident. If a part is still missing after your conversation or your employer doesn’t want to put it in writing, get in touch with a lawyer. They will ensure that the contract is legally binding and your rights are protected.

Resolve Legal can help go over your contract if you are unsure what things mean or want to chat about any part of it. Our team are expert employment lawyers who can help support you as a new employee. Don’t hesitate to get legal advice from our friendly team!