Employment contract for a new job?

Despite the thrill of receiving an offer of new employment, a recipient of a job offer should remember they are signing a legal document that could have far reaching legal effects.

The first thing to look for in a job offer is to make sure it includes all the terms.  For example, if the employer agreed to modify its vacation policy and provide three weeks’ vacation, does the offer note this?  If not, it is usually best to politely go back to the employer and ask that the specific item be included.

After you get through the basics of the offer, you should look for what you are promising the employer.  For example, are you agreeing that you will not solicit any clients of the company for two years after you leave employment, even if you are terminated? 

More and more frequently employers are also including provisions that speak to what notice an employee will be entitled to at termination.  Quite often these provisions oust an employee’s right to common law notice.   As the common law typically provides an employee to more notice or pay in lieu of notice then the Employment Standards Act, 2000 you should carefully consider what you are agreeing to.