Simes Law


3 Reasons To Ask An Employment Lawyer To Review Your Contract.

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Getting a new job can be thrilling. Especially after a lengthy job hunt or interview process and in the rush of excitement – it is normal for employees to want to “seal the deal” and sign their new employment contract right away. 

However, employment contracts contain legal language and clauses that are complex and hard to understand, specially in context on your work, compensation, and termination.

There are significant benefits to having your employment contract reviewed by a lawyer before signing. At Simes Law, we have compiled the top 3 reasons to do so in this article.

1. Your bonus may depend on factors outside your control

You deserve to be compensated for your hard work. But your employer may stipulate in your employment contract that your bonus will be given at their sole discretion or even that other factors – beyond your performance – may be used to decide if you are owed a bonus or not. Other language can limit your entitlement to a bonus at the time of termination. 

A reasonable bonus could put a lot more money in your pocket and help pay for your big item purchases or pay off outstanding debt and help you get back on track. Don’t let your hard work go to waste – speak with us about how this term can be negotiated to ensure you get recognized for your performance. 

2. Your employer’s exclusivity clause could limit your potential options

Some employers include exclusivity clauses in their employment contracts, meaning that you may not be able to work for another employer, work a side business for extra income, or engage in other volunteer work with certain organizations. 

With the state of the economy, particularly in Ontario – many individuals say they supplement, or wish to supplement their main income with a supplementary side income. If you have other passions or streams of income outside of your work, we recommend you meet with us to discuss how this clause could be amended to not limit your options.

3. Your contract termination clause could cap what you are owed at termination

It is hard to think about termination when you have just received your contract. However, the best time to negotiate what happens in the likely scenario that you are fired, let go, or terminated is at the time of signing the contract. Like insurance, you are protecting you must protect your best interests and manage personal risk.

When an employer terminates an employee, in most circumstances they have to provide notice or pay in lieu of notice. But your employer could add a termination clause in your contract that caps the amount of notice or pay you are owed. The team at Simes Law can advise you whether or not your employer’s termination clause is legally enforceable and if so, advise you on how to negotiate that clause. You do not want to find out too late that you have signed away thousands of dollars in potential termination pay. 

In summary

Getting a new job can and should be an exciting time in your life. But it is important to ensure that the terms of that job actually work for you, and where possible, are written in your favour.

When you sign an employment contract you could be giving up certain rights or agreeing to limit your options in how you live your life outside of work. 

Have your employment contract reviewed by one of our lawyers. We will advocate on your behalf and ensure you remain confident in your new employment journey.

Please note that the information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice of any kind. 

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