Common Myths Surrounding Employment Contracts

Employment Law | November 2, 2021

Employment contracts are a vital component of an employee/employer relationship as they are used to set forth the terms and conditions of employment. An employment contract typically outlines individual responsibilities, duration of the job, benefits provided during employment, and non-compete clauses associated with the role. These contracts are important as they can protect both parties by providing them with a clear overview of what is expected from each side. As experts in employment law, the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood understand how important it is for both parties to understand the terms of an employment contract. That is why our team has provided some information on the common myths surrounding employment contracts to help you separate fact from fiction.

What counts as an employment contract?

3 Employment Contract Myths

When discussing employment contracts, the following myths and misconceptions are the most common:

1. All Contracts Can be Easily Revised

If an employer wishes to adjust the working hours, responsibilities, title, or other details for an employee, they will need to revise their employment contract. An employer cannot revise this contract without the consent of the employee. If the terms of employment are going to change significantly, the contract will need to be renegotiated to ensure that both parties are happy with the revisions. In some instances, an employee may have agreed to a flexibility clause in their contract when they initially signed it. If this clause was agreed to, the employer will be able to make reasonable changes to an employment agreement without negotiating a new contract. Potential employees should always read their employment contract carefully before signing to ensure that the terms contained within are acceptable.

Learn all about non-compete and non-solicitation clauses.

2. Employee Contracts Must be Written

While most employment contracts are printed on paper or signed digitally, some contracts can be formed without the presence of a formal document. These contracts are typically referred to as “verbal contracts”, as they are agreements that have been formed through conversations between the employee and their employer. For example, if an employer tells an employee that they will continue to have a job so long as their sales numbers stay above a certain target, this is a verbal contract.

Find out how to draft an employment contract.

3. If the Contract has not Been Signed, the Terms do not Apply

The terms and conditions of a contract can still be enforced even if the employee has not signed it. If the employee has been issued the contract, has not made any clear objections to the terms, and has continued to work according to their working hours, they will be deemed to have accepted the terms and can be held to them.

What are some of the most common employment contract clauses?

To learn more about employment contracts and other areas of employment law, get in touch with the experts at Linley Welwood. We can be reached at 604-850-6640 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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