Keeping Employment Agreements Up to Date

Keeping Employment Agreements Up to Date

Employment agreements can determine a lot about the relationship between an employer and an employee. Different clauses can enforce terms, determine salaries, control the situations around termination, and so much more. However, what many people may not realize is that employment agreements are not set in stone.


Employment agreements should be regularly reviewed and kept up to date. Laws about employment are always changing, and especially considering how much the world has changed since the beginning of the pandemic, it is a good idea to take the time to review the terms of your employment agreements. Updating clauses in light of changes is a great way to save yourself from potential problems down the line.


This article will outline why it is important to review employment agreements, what reviews should focus on, and more tips from an employment law team.


Why Should You Review Employment Agreements?


There are many reasons why employment agreements should be reviewed. Many employment expire, and while some courts may enforce the terms of a contract if it is not renewed but the employment continues, it is still a good idea to update to a new contract as soon as possible. That way, there will be no confusion as to what terms still apply if an issue ever arises.


In Canada, laws surrounding employment are frequently changing, and employment agreements should always reflect those changes. Terms that contradict the current laws surrounding employment may not be enforceable. 


As well, it is important to make sure that employment agreements touch on all subjects that may be relevant. Clauses on termination, pay, and working time is all good to include, especially in case something goes wrong at any time. 


In a post-pandemic world, it is also a good idea to include policies about where employees should work, be that in an office or from their own homes. Neglecting to include items like that could result in employees being confused on their responsibilities or making incorrect assumptions about what is expected from them. 


No matter what you plan to include in an employment agreement, it should be update semi-regularly to ensure that clauses are up to date and represent current employment laws. But what exactly should be review, and when? 


What Should Be Reviewed and When?


It is a good idea to review employment agreements as soon as there is a relevant change in employment laws. It is a good idea to consult an employment lawyer when drafting an agreement and to keep in touch in case things change. 


When new issues arise, such as COVID-19 resulting in an increase in people working remotely, it is a good idea to update your employment agreements to include policies that reference the changes. Outlining expectations for your employees will prevent problems down the line. Otherwise, you may experience issues if you want to enforce something like a return to in-person work without mentioning it in the employment agreement. 


Finally, if your employment agreements do not mention termination, it is likely a good idea to update them. Clauses on termination limit how much severance employees receive. Especially executive and c-suite level employees can save you a great deal of money in the long run.


Once you have decided to review your employment agreements, it is a good idea to consider what your obligations are to your employees who are signing new agreements. Be sure to pay attention to our tips for reviewing your employment agreements. 


Tips for Reviewing Employment Agreements


When reviewing an employment agreement. It is important to remember that this is a contract between an employer and an employee. If you would like the agreement to be enforceable, then the employee will need something in return for signing, otherwise known as ‘consideration’. This might be a promotion, a pay raise, or something else that is agree upon at the time of signing. Continuing employment is not enough consideration for a new contract. Without consideration, the agreement will not be enforceable, even if the employee agrees to it. 


Employees signing new agreements should also keep in mind that you should carefully review the agreement before signing. As an employee, you should also remember that you need to receive something in return for signing, as mentioned above. It might be a good idea to seek legal advice before agreeing to anything.


When an employment agreement is update, the employee must accept the update and agree to sign for the update to be valid. 


If the employee refuses to sign, the employer can terminate the current contract. They give the proper notice that the original contract requires (i.e. contract 1 requires 4 weeks of notice before termination). Then offer a new contract once the original has been terminate. 




Employment agreements determine a lot about the relationship between an employer and an employee. They can mean the difference between winning and losing at court, if an issue arises. It is important to keep employment up to date and representative of current employment laws. As the world changes, so should employment agreements.


If you have concerns about your employment agreement, or if you’re not sure how to go about updating them. Be sure to reach out to a qualified employment lawyer. Drafting employment agreements can be tricky at times, but with an employment lawyer to help. You will see the best possible results. 


Contact Us


If you are an employer looking for advice on updating your agreements. Our team of experienced workplace lawyers at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist.