Business people negotiating a contract

Seek advice before signing employment agreements

Employees who seek legal advice before signing a contract may be able to enhance their entitlements on termination, says Barrie employment lawyer Scott Hawryliw, who frequently advises clients on employment contracts.

Hawryliw, founder of SRH Litigation, says contracts drafted by employers will often seek to limit employees’ entitlements to minimums set out in Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), which he explains are often considerably less generous than entitlements available according to the common law’s reasonable notice requirement.

“If a lawyer reviews a contract that has the employee accepting minimums under the ESA, then they are going to tell you to take that portion out or at least have it modified,” he tells “Once you’ve signed it, it’s going to be hard to get around those clauses, so it’s a better idea to get some advice beforehand.”

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