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What is the Purpose of the Contract of Employment


The employment contract is the one concluded by the employee and the employer. It highlights the most important terms and conditions of employment. Employers may require the employee to sign a binding contract before starting work. To avoid confusion, read the contract well before signing it.

The purpose of the employment contract

The purpose of the employment contract is to organize the employment relationship between the employee and his employer. It must specify, in particular:

  • The employee's position and the missions that the employer has planned to entrust to him.
  • The number of hours worked by the employee (weekly or monthly), the days and hours of work, and the place where the contract will be performed.
  • The employee's remuneration.
  • The employee's leave.
  • The duration of the trial period.

Good to know: a contract of employment can provide many other details. Some optional causes are frequently inserted: non-competition clauses , geographical mobility clauses , etc.

What are the objectives of a written contract of employment?

The written employment contract is now a must for the following reasons:

  • It serves as a reference for the employer to ensure that the employer meets its obligations under the contract, and vice versa.
  • It records the tasks expected of the employee.
  • It puts an end to ambiguities about working conditions granted.
  • It protects the employer's interests on confidentiality, the obligation of non-solicitation and non-competition.
  • It protects the employee's interests by formalizing the compensation and other benefits to which he or she is entitled.

Core items

Written employment contracts usually include terms and conditions, such as the position the worker will occupy, the date of hiring, salary, health insurance benefits, retirement options, reasons for termination of the employment relationship and policies on means of dispute resolution. The employer may require signed contracts only from senior executives, employees with access to confidential information or from any employee.


Employment contracts offer protection for both employees and employers, although they tend to favor the party that wrote them. For employers, they can guarantee fundamental advantages, such as setting the minimum duration of employment. For example, as a manager, you may be asked to sign a two-year contract. The exceptions that appear in the contract may allow you to breach the agreement, but, in general, by signing, you agree to work for that employer for two years.


Review each item carefully. The contract may have some non-competition clause that prohibits you from working for a competing company. These clauses usually specify a certain limit, for example, a geographical area or a period of duration. Therefore, you may sign a contract with ABC that contains a clause under which you can't work for a direct competitor, such as DEF, that's within 40 miles of ABC's location during the three years following the Termination of your contract with ABC.

Illegal contracts

The mere fact that the contract exists doesn't make it legal and binding. An illegal contract is one that's contrary to public policies or the law, so it can't be demanded before the courts. For example, the ABC company can present you with a contract according to which your average salary is US $ 3.50 per hour; Although both parties may have signed that contract, the agreement is void, because it violates the minimum wage standards.


Read the contract before signing it. If you come across items with which you disagree, you can try to provide suggestions or negotiate with the employer. If necessary, talk to a lawyer to review the contract and legal consequences. In addition, you must understand that employees who didn't sign contracts can be laid off without cause.

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