This piece is scripted to
educate business owners and prospective employees. To help draw their minds to
what the essentials of a ‘contract of employment’ are. It is best that they
become familiar with the concepts of this type of contract law.

A contract of employment
is a contract in itself, and it has terms that would govern the relationship
between the employer and the employee.

We acknowledge that
employment contracts can take the form of a verbal understanding.
Notwithstanding, with a contract, the essentials get spelled out in detail. For
clarity and certainty.

For a contract to be
valid, there must be;
An offer and an unconditional acceptance,
An intention to enter into legal
relationship must be visible,
and consideration must be furnished as

All of these must be in
the absence of vitiating elements, such as duress, mistake, illegality, undue
influence or misrepresentation from either of the parties.

Essentials To Note
  • One vital feature of a contract of employment
    is that the parties’ names and capacity has to be stated (i.e. the
    employer and the employee).
  • Also, the nature or title must be
    specifically indicated – the name of the position and the essential duties
    ascribed to such position. This ensures that the employee knows what is
    expected of her.
  • One important term in some employment
    contracts is a covenant not to compete, also known as a non-compete
    clause. These clauses restrict an employee – post-employment – from
    working for a competitor for a certain period of time. This usually keenly
    debated during negotiations.
  • Confidentiality clauses are also
    commonly found in employment contracts. These clauses may encompass a
    variety of things, such as trade secrets, business operations, and
    marketing strategies.
  • Ownership of Products: If your
    employees invent products within the scope of their employment, you can
    take ownership of these inventions by including a clause that expressly
    states your intention to do so. This is in tandem with the principles of
    Intellectual Property.
  • In addition, the duration of the
    employment contract should be clearly stated (i.e. commencement and end
    date). For instance,this contract of employment commences on January
    19, 2017, and will end on January 20, 2020 
    or, this
    contract is to run for a period of three years starting from January 20,
     Conditions that may vary this length of employment should
    also be provided for.
  • The address of the workplace should be
    clearly contained in the contract of employment.
  • Furthermore, the mechanism to be
    applied for the evaluation of performance should be included in the
    contract, expectations and performance barometers should be carefully
  • Other clauses to be provided for
    include: hours of work (e.g. from 8am to 4pm), public holidays clause,
    leaves that are open to the employee (e.g. maternity leave, sick leave,
    annual leave, paternity leave etc.)
  • Another essential feature is the
    amount to be paid whether as wages, salary or on a percentage/commission
    basis, and in what currency the money is to be paid. Thus, the terms as to
    whether payment would be made hourly, daily, weekly or monthly should be
    clearly stated. Terminal benefits and retirement benefits should also be
    provided for.
  • Finally, there should be a provision
    for the termination of employment; this should cover likely incidents of
    misconducts, i.e. scenarios and instances under which the employment
    contract may be terminated.
At this point, after all
negotiations are concluded, the contract would then be signed and dated by
parties, and both provided with a copy of the signed agreement.

In the case you
have any employment related problems, or queries, get in touch via
+2347014979879 or

Ed’s Note – This article was first published here