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5 things to include in a new hire's employment contract

Your small business is expanding, and that means you have to hire a new employee. It's important that this person is honest and reliable, but it's also vital that he or she understands what you expect. As the employer, you are responsible for creating an employment contract.

This contract is legally binding, so it's wise to speak with your attorney about drawing one up with everything that it needs inside. For instance, you'll want to include the employee's classification, a definition of the job and other necessary information. Here are at least five things you should include in your contract.

1. Basic job information

Anyone starting a new job needs to know what the job is. Include information on the job and what the person's role is. For example, if the new hire is working as a cashier, include a description of the job and the things that the cashier is expected to do during his or her shift.

2. Confidentiality agreement

Protecting your intellectual property is key to continued success. The last thing you want is for a new hire to spill the news about a new product to another company that uses it before you can. Make sure the new hire signs a confidentiality agreement, so you have a way to seek compensation if that agreement is breached.

3. Employee schedule

If your employee will have a steady schedule, include it in your contract. For example, if he or she is expected to work every day from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., include that information. If he or she receives a weekly schedule that varies, also include information on when it will be provided.

4. Termination terms

You should always include information on termination. What constitutes an offense that leads to immediate termination? What needs to happen if the employee is terminated? Does he or she need to return a uniform? What happens with his or her final paycheck? These are just a few things to include in this section.

5. Payment agreements

It's also a good idea to include payment agreements in your contract. Will you pay monthly, biweekly, daily or on other terms? How much will the employee get per hour or per project?

These are just five of many different things you can add to your employment contract. Your attorney can help you write a contract so that it is legally binding and protects your interests.

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