As someone who owns and operates your own small business, you probably try your best to put “aces in places” and hire people you trust will work hard on your behalf. While hiring the right people is a critical component of operating any business, so, too, is setting clear guidelines about what you expect from your employees and what they can expect from you in return.
A well-crafted employment contract gives you an opportunity to do exactly that in a legally binding document that can come in extremely handy in the event that a disagreement arises between you and an employee down the line. While you can address any number of different issues in your employment contract based on your business’s unique needs, there are certain elements many modern business owners choose to cover.
Any good employment contract will cover the basics regarding employment, such as when and where you must show up and to whom you must report. If your employment contract covers only a short, specific period, make sure to note this. You may also want to include information in this section that pertains to how your employee’s superiors will evaluate performance and whether they expect workers to achieve specific goals within a particular timeframe.
Information about compensation, benefits and time off
You can also use your employment contract to set expectations about how you plan to pay your employee and what benefits he or she will gain access to while working for you. This is also the place to outline your policies as far as sick days, paid time off and so on.
As a small business owner, you can also use your employment contract to set expectations about employee confidentiality. In addition to what information you expect an employee to protect, you should also include language about exactly when the confidentiality agreement applies, noting whether it covers the employment period, exclusively or some period thereafter, too.
While these are some of the fundamentals of a strong employment contract, please note this is not an exhaustive list of all areas you may want to address.