Contract Law for HR Practitioners

Introduction:

Contracts typically govern the relationships of a business with its customers, suppliers and employees.  A lack of awareness of the fundaments of contractual knowledge can potentially be a major risk to any organisation. Most employees, in their course of work, would need to deal with contracts, whether they like it or not. This is no exception for human resource practitioners and you will need to possess the necessary knowledge to protect your employer’s interests so as to avoid litigations which can be costly and time consuming.

This workshop provides the legal fundamentals in understanding contract laws, emphasising on employment contracts and any other contracts or agreements incorporated by reference to the employment contract, such as HR policies and procedures, Collective Agreement, employee handbook, Memorandum of Understanding etc. We will also look into HR correspondences which may be laced with contractual or legal obligations of the employer, such as dismissal letter, loan to employees, employee insurance, employee benefits, training bonds and course sponsorships etc.

At the end of this workshop, delegates can be assured that they will have a better understanding of contract laws and its applications.

Learning Objectives:

1.   The legal requirements for the formation of a contract.

2.   The significance of contract law on the employment relationship.

3.    The terms and conditions in different types of contracts.

4.   The importance of clarity and flexibility and the art of drafting terms of employment.

5.   Variation of contract, and in particular to employment contracts and employee benefits.

6.    Recognise what constitute a breach of contract and the remedies available.

7.   Drafting the various types or forms of contracts/letters to employees.

8.   Pitfalls to avoid in drafting an employment contract.

Course Outline:

A competent HR practitioner must have the skills and knowledge in the following:

1.   Pre-contractual negotiations before deriving a contract.

  • Pre-contract correspondences/documentation such as understanding of acceptance of employment.
  • Communication in contract law ( including modern forms ) such as emails, sms, etc
  • Misrepresentation to job prospects.

2.   Essential elements of a contract

  • Offer, acceptance and invitation to treat.
  • Acceptance.
  • Consideration.
  • Capacity to contract : age, mentally sound, etc.
  • Intention to create legal relationships.
  • Privity of contract doctrine.

3.   Factors vitiating contract valid contracts

  • Misrepresentation
  • Mistake
  • Illegal and void contracts
  • Duress and undue influence
  • Illegal performance of lawful contracts

4.   Contents of the contract

  • Express vs Implied terms.
  • The difference between a term and representation.
  • Warranties and conditions.
  • Prohibition/Restriction.
  • Variation of contract.

5.   Termination of contracts and remedies for breach of contracts

  • Discharge of contracts by performance, agreement, repudiation breach, and frustration.
  • Remedies for breach of contracts and identify types of breaches.
  • Termination of a contract – How and when.
  • Suspension letter
  • Summary dismissal letter.
  • Specific performance.
  • Damages.

6.   Remedies for breach of contracts

  • Assessment of damages.
  • Obtaining injunctions.
  • Specific performance.
  • Liquidated damage.
  • Penalty clauses.
  • Quantum Meruit.

7.   Drafting various types of employment contracts

  • For regular/open ended employment contract.
  • For dual/triple employment contract ( differentiate between primary and sec. contract ).
  • For fixed term employment contract ( with and without termination clause )
  • For temporary, casual labour and part-time employment contracts.
  • For re-employment contract under the ambit of Retirement and Re-employment Act.
  • For independent contractor (contract for service and under direct/indirect engagement).
  • Application to common law employee versus statutory employee.

8.   Drafting contracts which are incorporated by reference to employment contract

  • Training bond/course sponsorship contract.
  • Collective Agreement.
  • HR policies and procedures.
  • Memorandum of understanding.
  • Employee handbook.
  • Announcement and notices to employees.
  • Stock option and/or Restricted Share Plan ( part of employee benefits ) contract.
  • Retention bonus scheme.
  • Employee benefits.
  • Loans to employees and with monthly deductions contract.

9.   Pitfalls to avoid in drafting an employment contract

  • Governing law/Jurisdiction and its application to SPR and foreigners.
  • Different categories of employees.
  • Unilateral variation by employer.
  • Confidentiality clause.
  • Non-solicitation clause.
  • Restraint of trade clause.

Methodologies

Lecture and case study.

Who should attend?

Human Resource Practitioners.

Workshop Registration

 Please click here to register.