Employment agreement – drafting

An employment agreement is the basis of a working relationship between the employer and the employee. By making agreements and placing them in an employment agreement both parties know what rights and duties there are.

The starting point for drafting an employment agreement is that both employer and employee can determine for themselves what they incorporate therein, nevertheless the law does have some demands regarding an employment agreement, in protection of the employee. Our advice is to spend the necessary attention to the content of the employment agreement.

Among other things the following agreements can be captured in an employment agreement.

1. The nature of the contract

You can for instance think of employment agreements for a fixed term or indefinite, but also a temporary employment agreement or a secondment agreement.

2. The term of the contract

An employer and an employee can both have different contract terms included in an employment agreement. From short (season related terms) to long terms and for the duration of a project;

3. Notice period

An employee who wants to terminate his employment agreement is usually bound to a notice period of one month. A longer notice period of an employee however is possible if this specifically is included in the employment agreement or an eventual collective bargaining agreement. By law it is determined that the notice period may never be longer than six months for an employee. The notice period of termination for the employer is as follows.

Employment lenght Notice periode of termination
Less than 5 years 1 month
5 to 10 years 2 months
10 to 15 years 3  months
15 Years or longer 4 months






4. Working hours

Parties can specifically determine in the employment agreement on which times the employee will work. An employee can for instance work in shifts or an employee doesn’t work in the weekends or is off every Friday afternoon. The employer is bound to individual agreements, which are included in the employment agreement.

5. Employment terms

Employment terms are divided between primary and secondary employment terms. The things about which an employer and an employee almost always make agreements are primary employment terms. One can think of the salary or the number of hours an employee will work. The secondary employment terms come on top of the primary employment terms such as travel allowance, leave days or a company car.

6. Trial period

Including a trial period in an employment agreement isn’t mandatory. Besides a trial period of 6 months or less is not possible in an employment agreement. A trial period is never longer than 2 months and has to be put down in writing.

7. Non-compete/non-solicitation clause

Non-compete clauses limit an employee is his liberty to be employed in a specific way with a different employer or as a self-employed person after his employment agreement. A non-solicitation clause restricts an employee to sustain in contact with relations of the employer after termination of the employment agreement.

8. Confidentiality

It can be of great importance for an employer that an employee does not distribute confidential information to third parties. It is of the utmost importance that an employer has explicitly declared to the employee, or the employee reasonably ought to know from the circumstances, that the information is confidential. The employer can include a penalty clause for violating the confidentiality.

When you did not rightly include the agreements made between an employer and an employee at the start of the work relations in the employment agreement this can have nasty consequences. With a good employment agreement you build in legal certainties and avoid problems. Together we run trough all contractual possibilities. As a result you will have a made to measures drafted employment agreement, both fast and complete.

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