Written Employment Contracts
An employment contract is beneficial to both the Condominium and the superintendent as it provides clarity on the rights and responsibilities of both parties. A properly drafted agreement can also significantly reduce the risk of legal claims for the Condominium.
While it is not necessary to have a lengthy and complicated legal contract with your superintendent, the power of an employment contract should not be underestimated and should form part of the Condominium’s risk management toolkit.
Employment agreements can be used to specify terms with respect to:
- Scope of Duties
- Work schedule
- Use of the superintendent suite and common elements
Beware of Verbal Employment Contracts
A superintendent may commence employment without signing a written employment agreement, however, the employment relationship will be governed by an implied verbal agreement, which may leave the Condominium exposed to various risks. The superintendent will be entitled to the rights afforded by Ontario workplace legislation, the common law (including extended notice or pay in lieu of notice for without-cause terminations) as well as the verbal representations made by the Condominium.
If an employment-related matter goes to a court or tribunal, the terms of employment may have to be determined by a Judge based on the available evidence and the credibility of the parties.
One of the greatest risks involved with verbal employment agreements arises at the time of dismissal. A verbal employment agreement with automatically entitle the superintendent to “common law reasonable notice” which can be significantly greater than the minimum termination pay requirements set out in the Employment Standards Act, 2000, and can therefore be very costly for Condominium employers.
A properly drafted employment agreement will clearly outline the parties’ rights upon termination and can save a Condominium from paying out costly wrongful dismissal claims.
Main Takeaways for Condominium Employers
- Superintendents can be hired pursuant to a verbal employment contract or a written employment contract, however, a written employment contract can significantly reduce the risks associated with legal disputes between the parties.
Condominium employers are particularly exposed when it comes to terminations if there is not a properly drafted written employment agreement in place.
Written by Marni Outerbridge
Part 4 coming soon
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstance.