Common Clauses in Employment Contracts

Employment Law | January 25, 2022

Whether you are an employer or a new employee, both parties need to have a clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities associated with a position. A well-written employment contract is often the best way to outline this information and make it enforceable for each party, minimizing confusion or the possibility of disputes. Although every employment contract is unique, there will likely be several clauses or conditions included that are commonly found in other contracts. Understanding these clauses and what should be included in each is crucial for ensuring that nothing is left up to interpretation. That is why the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood have put together a list of the most common clauses in employment contracts to assist employees and employers in creating a strong working relationship founded on clear expectations.

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4 Clauses that are Often Included in BC Employment Contracts

The following clauses are commonly included in most BC employment contracts:

1. Scope of Employment

An employment contract should contain a job description with details that outline the employee’s responsibilities. This clause should identify whether the employee can be demoted, transferred to a position with different responsibilities, or have their existing responsibilities modified or increased. The possibility of travel and relocation should also be discussed in this clause if it applies to the business.

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2. Probationary Period Clauses

Probationary periods can be of great value to an employer as they provide a timed duration to assess whether an employee is suitable for a role. A probationary clause typically states that the employer can terminate the employee’s employment during a specified period without notice or cause. In most cases, this period lasts for 3 months, though this can vary based on several factors. It should be noted that a probationary period clause must comply with the minimum notice period under employment standards legislation.

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3. Termination Clauses

Clear and enforceable termination provisions within an employment agreement are extremely important as there is more litigation each year around the enforceability of this type of provision than any other aspect of employment agreements. Termination clauses are intended to displace an employee’s entitlement to reasonable notice should they be fired “with cause”. Typical grounds for termination include criminal conduct or a breach of the terms in the employment agreement.

4. Restrictive Covenants

Employers may restrict the actions that an employee can take during or after their employment. These restrictions may limit the employee’s ability to disclose and use confidential information, solicit employees, or solicit customers/clients for a defined period. The purpose of these covenants is typically to protect intellectual property and confidential client information.

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To learn more about employment contracts or other areas of employment law, get in touch with the team at Linley Welwood. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services or your potential case.

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