Adopting solid HR practices are one of the key elements to hiring smart and protecting your business.
One important thing you must do before hiring is to speak to an experienced legal counsel, who depending on the complexity and nature of your business, will advice on a variety of agreements, which should form part of your company’s employment documents.
One of these types of agreement is an “Employment Agreement”, which should be carefully drafted to include important clauses that protect both the employee and your business as a whole.
One important clause that must be included in your employment contract is a “Non compete” clause which should state that employees who are still in your employment cannot enter a similar profession or divert employers clients for personal gains or even work with a direct competitor within a certain period of time and geographic area and after employment is terminated. These agreements are complicated and certainly require legal expertise and guidance. Non-compete clauses have to be carefully worded because courts are often cautious to enforce them if they present a hardship to the ex employee. The onus of proof is usually on the former employer who must prove the worker took action in violation of the agreement and that the agreement is practical. A strong non-compete clause should be worded to have small geographic scope, short time periods and must be reasonable.
Another important clause is a “Non- disclosure” clause, which is usually included to protect information the company considers crucial to their operation- for example: trade secrets, inventions, processes, knowledge, or work in progress.
The final vital clause we will discuss is the “Notice period for termination”. It is very important that an employment agreement expressly states the notice period which must be given by an employee or an employer before termination of contract. This is to avoid employees leaving abruptly and causing disruptions to your business. A notice period is important to give you time to get your books in order and to find an adequate replacement to fill the position of the ex employee, especially if that ex employee played a vital role in your organisation.
The above are some of the most important clauses to be included in an employment contract and should be signed by both employee and employer upon hire, as well as by independent contractors in order to protect the business operations.
Other clauses that are often included in an employment contract are, the employment period, terms for termination, Compensation and benefits, time off/vacation policy, severance plan (if any), amongst others, which depending on your particular business or the type of hire must be included either in the employment contract or as a separate agreement which together will form part of your employment documents.
It is very important to seek legal counsel to determine what other agreements or clauses should form part of your employment documents to suit the needs of your particular business.
For more information regarding what type of agreements should be included as part of your employment documents, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
- by Anwuli Okeke
- Reference: https://startupng.com.ng/protecting-your-business-when-hiring-important-clauses-that-must-be-included-in-agreement/