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What Counts as an Employment Contract?

Employment Law | December 22, 2020

Whether you are an employee or an employer, it is important to know what counts as an employment contract in BC to ensure that you are aware of your legal obligations in a work setting. Many people sign on to work for an employer without ever signing a legal document, so not everyone is aware whether or not they even have an employment contract. At Linley Welwood, we are experts in employment law and we are always happy to help our clients find out more about the employment contracts that they are working with.

What is an Employment Contract?

Many people believe that, if they have not signed anything, they do not have an employment contract with their employer. Many small business owners likewise believe that they are not under contract with their employees if nothing has been written up or signed. An employment contract is the set of rules, regulations, and expectations established between an employer and an employee. If the contract is not put in writing, it is governed by the regulations set out in the Employment Standards Act and common law and much of the standards of employment can be inferred from the job interview, employee handbook, and other verbal or written exchanges between the employer and employee. For the sake of clarity and accountability for both parties, it is usually best to have an employment contract in writing and signed.

Whether it is in writing or implied, an employment contract takes effect as soon as the employee accepts the position. An implied contract is just as binding as a written employment contract, although it can be harder to substantiate claims if needed. Some of the factors that are often included in employment contracts include:

  • Remuneration/salary/wages
  • Hours of work
  • Employee responsibilities
  • Confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements
  • Employer-provided benefits
  • Work location
  • Vacation time
  • Procedures for requesting time off
  • Pay raise scheduling
  • Probationary periods
  • Company policies

If you would like to learn more about what counts as an employment contract or if you have questions about your specific employment contract, please contact the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood. We would love to help you find out anything you need to know regarding employment law.


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