An Employment Agreement (also known as Employment Contract) is a document by which employers and their employees define their roles and obligations at the beginning of an employment relationship. In Nigeria, an employment contract must be given to the worker within three months of commencement of employment.
Employment relationships often begin with an Offer Letter which outlines certain terms of employment. However, an Employment Agreement is a more detailed document as it allows parties to provide very detailed information. It creates no doubt or questions about what is expected of both parties as it defines all the responsibilities and sets out all the terms and conditions as agreed by both parties.
The Agreement will contain information such as the names of the parties to the Agreement, the nature of employment, role and responsibilities of the employee, compensation, conditions for termination of the employment and all other conditions as may be agreed by both parties.
Once parties have signed the contract, it becomes a binding contract. That is, a breach in any clause in the contract entitles the other to a remedy in law.
How to use this document
This document can be used by an employer who has decided to retain the services of another person or an employee after deciding to accept an employment.
In this document, both parties can set out terms and conditions which will protect them from any dispute that may arise in future. For example, an employer can use this document to restrain the employee from working with a competitor or prevent the employee from using confidential information during and after the employee ceases to work for the employer. It can also be used to provide a suitable dispute resolution method in case any dispute arises.
The employee can also use this document to set out terms like compensation, bonus and other benefits like health insurance, pension, etc. for the services rendered. Also, with this document, the employee is fully aware of his/her roles and duties.
When filling the form, the form filler will define the important components of the agreement by choosing clauses the filler desires to have in the agreement. With this document, the filler can have a simple agreement with just the basic terms or an agreement incorporating specific terms.
After the filling the form, it should be printed. The Parties must sign the document and the document must be witnessed by two persons. The two witnesses are required to hand fill their names, addresses, occupation and also sign this document.
Once parties have signed this document, it means that the parties have agreed to all the terms and conditions of the agreement and this creates a binding contract between them. It is ideal that each party keeps one original copy of this document for record purposes.
Employment and employment agreements are subject to Federal laws as issues relating to employment and labour matter in Nigeria are within the exclusive purview of the federal legislature.
The Federal laws applicable to this agreement include:
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