May 14, 2021

Hi,

We were wondering the following regarding our employment agreements:

– Does the entire document need to be returned? Not just the final signature page
– Should candidates be required to sign every page?
– If a change is made to an employment agreement after signing (i.e. start date), does it suffice to email the candidate with the change and not require an updated signature in return?

Many thanks

Hi Elyce,

For record-keeping purposes, it is best practice to ensure that any candidate who signs an employment contract returns the employment contract in full (including the completed signature page).  Doing so will provide you, as the employer, with a comprehensive record that the candidate has agreed to all the terms of his/her employment contained in the employment contract.

Secondly, there is no need for the candidate to sign every page of the contract.  So long as the signature page/section of the contract has been signed and dated by the candidate, the contract will be legally binding.

In relation to your third query, an employer cannot unilaterally change an employment contract and merely notify the employee of this change.  Both parties will need to agree to the change, either by signature or by their conduct, depending on the circumstances.  Variations should be made in writing and signed by both parties if this is required by the terms of the contract.  For more minor variations, (for example, the start date) this could be done through an email exchange.  More significant changes can be effected by a letter of variation (a letter specifying the specific contractual changes) signed by both parties.  If the contract does not require the signature of both parties to a variation, an employer could send correspondence to the employee setting out the changes and letting the employee know that, if no objection is made, they will be deemed to have accepted the variation by their conduct.  Employers should keep records of any variations of the employment agreement that are made.

Kind regards,

Matthew Gough

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