As an employer, there are many things to consider in regard to an employment contract. Your attorney should advise you on many of these, such as a confidentiality provision, or language to protect your intellectual property. Before you talk to your attorney, these are some basic provisions you should consider:
- Job information: Some key pieces of information to start with include the job title and the team or department with which the employee will work. Explain how performance will be evaluated and to whom the new hire will report.
- Compensation and benefits: Outline the compensation and benefits package. It should include the annual salary or hourly rate, information about raises, bonuses, or incentives and how these may be obtained. Explain what the benefits plan includes — medical, dental, eye care, etc. — what percent the employer pays, and what percent the employee pays. If offered, include information about the 401(k) plan, stock options, and any fringe benefits.
- Time off, sick days, and vacation policy.
- The schedule and employment period: Ongoing or for a set term? It should also include when the employee is expected to work to define the employer-employee relationship. Include the amount of hours the employee is expected to work and any flexible working options like working from home or remotely while out of town. If the job requires working nights and weekends, explain when and how often.
- Termination terms and conditions: Explain what is required for either party to terminate the relationship, including the amount of notice required.
- Severance or outplacement plan information: Consider if you will offer severance.
- Requirements after termination: The contract should include any restrictions or mandates on an employee after leaving the organization. For example, an employee may not be allowed to start his or her own business in the same industry within the same locale in a specified time period or work with the business’s clients independently.