The employment contract represents the most frequently concluded document in the employment relationship, where the employee and the employer enter into an agreement on the terms and conditions of employment. For an employment contract to be valid, it is essential that it contains all the statutory elements. Although it may seem simple, in practice we often experience mistakes that can have negative consequences for both parties.
In this article, we have listed the 5 most common mistakes that usually appear in employment contracts.
1. Type of work and brief description of the type of work
One of the essential elements of an employment contract is the definition of the type of work and the employee's work tasks. The type of work is understood to be a specific job (e.g. accountant) and the brief description defines what specific work tasks the employee will perform (what is his/her job description).
A frequent deficiency of employment contracts is that the job description does not correspond to the agreed type of work, or the job description is not properly defined. Such deficiencies may cause the employee to refuse to perform a certain work task.
Tip: A more detailed description of the type of work can also be included in the internal regulation, which can be changed without the employee's consent. However, this more detailed description of the type of work must correspond to the type of work itself, and this does not preclude the obligation to include a brief description of the work in the employment contract.
|Type of work
|Correct indication of a brief description of the type of work
|Incorrect indication of a brief description of the type of work
2. Wage conditions
Wage conditions represent another essential element of the employment contract. Only if the wage conditions are already agreed in the collective agreement it will be sufficient to refer to the provisions of the collective agreement.
Tip: Since wage conditions can in some cases also mean various bonuses or remuneration in addition to the wage itself, it is crucial to include them in the employment contract itself.
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3. Place of work
The place of work represents another essential element of the employment contract. The agreement on the place of work has a direct impact on the scope of the rights and obligations of the parties to the employment relationship (e.g. the offer obligation of the employer; the possibility to assign a business trip; the obligation of the employer to pay the employee's travel expenses; etc.).
Absence or an incorrectly agreed place of work may cause the employment contract to be invalid.
Tip: You can also agree on more than one place of work, but you need to inform the employee about the manner of determining the place of work (this may also be agreed in the employment contract itself).
Tip2: For certain types of work (sales representative, construction work) it is possible to agree that the whole territory of the Slovak Republic will be the place of work while the condition of determination will be fulfilled.
4. Probationary period
The Parties have the opportunity during the probationary period to get to know each other and to verify the suitability of their cooperation. In the event of dissatisfaction, either party may terminate the employment relationship during the probationary period, even without giving a reason. In order for the probationary period to be valid, it must be agreed upon in the employment contract itself and within the maximum length of the Labour Code.
Tip: Do not forget the new legislation that stipulates that the probationary period may not be agreed for more than half the duration of the employment relationship.
Example: If the parties agree on a four-month employment relationship, the probationary period may not exceed two months (i.e. half of the agreed duration of the employment relationship).
5. Definite period of time
The Labour Code allows for a fixed-term employment relationship, which means only for a limited period of time, but no longer than two years. A fixed-term employment relationship may be extended or renegotiated no more than twice. This means that the total duration of a fixed-term employment relationship, including its extension, may not exceed two years.
Tip: Once the maximum total duration of the employment relationship exceeds two years, the employment relationship will be deemed to be indefinite.
Do you prepare an employment contract and are not sure about its content? We will be delighted to help you with the preparation or revision of the employment contract. Please do not hesitate to contact us.