Employment Contracts – Part 2

Continuing with some more components to consider when preparing an employment contract:

  • Leave entitlements – state the employee’s apportionment of leave – vacation/holiday, sickness or any other special leave e.g. study leave, bereavement leave etc. Include the conditions for each type of leave and the method of calculation of the employee’s pay during these leave periods (or reference the necessary legislation and/or policies where these calculations and other leave details can be found).


  • Employee Training & Development – State if the employee is entitled to receive any training from the employer. Also indicate if the employee is required to complete any part of that training entitlement, or any other training, that may have to be employee-funded.


  • Rules, disciplinary procedures, grievance process – Reference applicable Employee Handbook, Workplace/HR policies, that contain this information, that the employee is required to follow. State whether copies will be given to the employee or where these can be accessed by the employee.


  • Conditions of employment relating to trade union membership (if applicable) – In T&T, even if the workplace environment is not unionised, employees can join certain unions to enjoy the relevant benefits and seek representation for needed legal redress.


  • Job Description – Reference and include the employee’s job description as an Appendix to the agreement. The exercise of drafting and preparing job descriptions should be given considered thought, time and attention. This should really not just be the copy from the advert used for print or social media.


  • Performance appraisals – Provide for performance appraisals and the performance standards required of the employee in the employment contract. Having a properly drafted employee job description helps with this clause and with the conduct of performance appraisals, on a whole, as the employee’s duties and responsibilities and the metrics would have been made clear from upfront.


  • Collective agreements – If applicable, state if there are any collective agreements in force, who are the parties and where these agreements can be accessed by the employee.


  • Confidentiality – Non-disclosure provisions can be included in the contract. While the Data Protection Act is not fully proclaimed in Trinidad & Tobago, organisations may want to consider adopting and practicing the international standards of data privacy and protection in its operations. The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) or California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) standards may be helpful here.  The employer will have to decide whether a policy a privacy standard or data protection policy will be operational in its business and state where this can be found for the employee’s perusal and information.


  • Non-compete, non-solicitation non-dealing clauses (where applicable) – The period of restraint for these clauses should be reasonable because many of these clauses may not pass muster if they are contested in court.


Consider the nature of the job the employee will perform in the organisation’s business, where the employee will be performing their role, will the employee be heavily involved with the employer’s customers/clients and what period of restraint would be necessary in order to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests etc. These clauses should really not be included for all categories of workers or for jobs of a certain level. These clauses are restrictive covenants and they need to be drafted so that they are enforceable.


For more information see:

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Official Legal Text (gdpr-info.eu)

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) | State of California – Department of Justice – Office of the Attorney General