Some of the issues that arise from employment contracts include:
- Breaches of non-compete clauses or issues arising from an insufficient non-compete clause being included in the agreement;
- Breaches of non disclosure agreements (NDAs) or issues arising due to the non-existence of a sufficient NDA;
- Wrongful termination clauses being brought against your company after dismissal of an employee. It helps to ensure job descriptions are specific and detailed. This is so that if an employee fails to perform you can clearly document why they are not performing and prevent or successfully defend any wrongful termination that may be taken against your company.
- Contractors claiming entitlements of an employee due to their contracts being drafted in too similar terms to those of their employee counterparts.
So how do you minimize the risk of these issues arising from an organizational perspective? It may be one thing to thoroughly review all material for its sufficiency when an employee commences work at your firm, however, it becomes a little harder to keep track of all employees as they move to different practices in the organization, change roles and duties and as changes are made to employment laws that affect all of your employee contracts. In these circumstances not only do their employment agreements need to be amended but any non compete or NDA relating to their employment also will need to be reviewed.
When any of these events occur you need a system:
- To review the existing contract/document and make the appropriate changes;
- That makes it clear what these changes are and how they compare to the original contract/document;
- That sends this changed document to your employees and has them review it, make any comments and amendments or flag any queries they wish to note and send it back to you;
- That keeps a track of these comments from employees;
- To review and incorporate changes as appropriate;
- To send amended contracts back to employees for acceptance.
This human resources management process could be completed over email while manually amending the relevant contracts. However, this method is time consuming and leaves scope for important messages or comments being missed, misinterpreted or lost. Some contract lifecycle management software/ collaboration software allows you to directly amend and comment on documents and send these directly to employees or other relevant parties, e.g. senior staff members who are required to provide approvals, without having to rely on email (all back-and-forth remains within the contract manager software system).
Some systems also allow you to change multiple similar contracts at the same time and automatically send them to multiple parties for review simultaneously. This greatly assists contract managers where a change to employment law means that a term included in multiple employee contracts needs to be redrafted.
If you have a contract management software system, you should check to see if it can also assist in the management of employees in ensuring they are fulfilling their duties where terms are include in their contracts for regular performance reviews. Software should prompt you when you and your employees should start planning for these reviews and when these are to occur to ensure you are all kept on track.
What are your thoughts? How do you control your company's HR contracting processes?
ContractRoom is a software that can assist with your human resources contracts and management of employment contracts including all of the above. You can sign up for a free demo of our contract management software / collaboration software by clicking here:
All opinions provided are for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. If you have specific questions please speak with a qualified local attorney.
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