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What Makes an Employment Contract Valid


Not all work performed by one person for another takes place on the basis of an employment contract. It's important to determine whether there is an employment contract in a work situation. Under the law, this entails specific rights duties.

The characteristics of a valid employment contract

In order to determine whether there is an employment contract, it must be examined whether the four characteristic elements of an employment contract appear in the employment relationship.

The four characteristic elements of the employment contract are:

- personal work;
- salary;
- authority relationship;
- certain time;

It's therefore a question of whether the four elements mentioned occur in the employment relationship. Less important is how the parties themselves appoint their agreement. Even if the parties themselves speak of an employment contract, that need not be the case. The judge will in itself take the party intentions into account, but will attach particular importance to the factual situation.

Once it has been established that all four elements: labor, wages, subordination and some time are present, then there is a contract, even if the parties call it an example. Freelance contract. The rights and obligations existing for the employment contract, including protection against dismissal, will then apply.

Individual contract conditions

In addition to the rights and obligations arising from the law with regard to an employment contract, the employer and employee can also make individual agreements that are preferably laid down in an employment contract. Examples are: agreements about a probationary period, working hours, extra-statutory days off, duties to be performed, bonuses, non-competition clause, pension, etc.

Flexible employment relationships

The business community is trying as much as possible to adjust the use of labor to the supply of work. Flexible contracts are often used for this. In addition to increasing use of the fixed-term employment contract and temporary agency work, all kinds of contract forms are used, such as call-off contracts, on-call contracts, min / max contracts, zero-hour contracts or employment contracts with a deferred performance obligation.

All of these contracts are intended to enable an employer who has a sudden need for manpower (for example in the event of illness, peak workload, irregular work pressure) to appeal to an employee who is prepared to meet that need in the very short term.


As an employer, it's extremely important for you that you use good employment contracts. We have drawn up model employment contracts for you that comply with the latest legislation and contain many provisions that are to your advantage.

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