Legal Insights / Fees / Employment Contracts: information needed, timeline & fees

Employment Contracts: information needed, timeline & fees

Apr 1 2024

Employment contracts can be an important tool for protecting the interests of both the employer and the employee, ensuring that everyone’s expectations are aligned at the commencement of the employment relationship. In particular, an employment contract that is properly drafted and executed can significantly reduce an employer’s potential liability for laying off or terminating an employee down the road. Below we set out the information we need to prepare an employment contract, the expected timeline and cost.

Information Needed:

Below sets out the basic details we need in order to start drafting. We will have additional questions as we prepare the contract.

  1. Do you have an Employee Handbook or any “Employee Policies” of some sort? If so, we will need copies to ensure no contradictions and will reference them in the contract.
  2. Do you typically pay any sort of bonus (year-end or otherwise)?
  3. Do you have group benefits? If so, is the eligibility after a certain period (often 3 months)? If yes, please advise who through and whether that includes extended health and dental or what.
  4. Do you typically provide vacation in accordance with the Employment Standards Act? [2 weeks after 12 months of employment, 3 weeks after 5 years]
  5. Any specific process for approval of vacation and sick time (if these are set out in an employee handbook, we will reference that)?
  6. Do you have any personal or sick days beyond what’s required by the Employment Standards Act? [5 paid and 3 unpaid days]
  7. Do you want to include any non-solicitation provisions? This would be setting out a time period after termination during which the former employee cannot solicit customers and/or former co-workers.
  8. Do you want to include non-competition provisions? This would restrict a former employee’s ability to work in the same field for a period of time. If yes, we’ll need to further discuss as these are harder to enforce than non-solicitation and need to be quite specific so will require further input.
  9. Any concerns about employees “moonlighting” by working a second job?
  10. Terminations without cause: are you wanting to set out the minimums from the Employment Standards Act or something else. The ESA requires at least 1 week after 3 months of employment, 2 weeks after 12 months, and then 1 additional week per year of service after 3 years to a maximum of 8 weeks for 8+ years.

We will include spaces to be filled in for things like wage rate and start dates. Generally, your employment contracts should include the most important parts of the employment relationship as well as anything that is particular to a specific employee. For policies that apply more broadly, like how to book vacation time, the company’s code of ethics and performance management, you should consider an employee handbook where these can be expanded upon. More information on employee handbooks can be found on our website here:


Template Agreements: 

It is important that the candidate signs the employment contract prior to commencing employment. The contract should be provided as part of the offer of employment so that the candidate is accepting the job with the conditions as set out in the contract. As offers of employment are typically time-sensitive, we often prepare template agreements that employers can use on short notice.

To prepare a template agreement typically takes 2-3 weeks, depending on lawyer availability, how complex the agreement is and whether variations are required for managers vs frontline employees. Once we get your standard offer of employment template ready, we can also prepare a template to provide to existing employees which must be carefully crafted with a signing bonus in order to be enforceable down the road. This can be done within a few business days.

When using a template agreement, you will want to create job descriptions for each role that includes the key functions of the position and any qualifications that are required. You then attach this as a schedule at the end of the agreement to minimize the changes that you need to make in the document for each hire.

Custom Agreements: 

We are also able to custom draft and do recommend this rather than making substantive changes to the template agreement. If we already prepared a template agreement, it is typically able to be customized within a week. If we are drafting the custom agreement from scratch we typically need 1-3 weeks, depending on lawyer availability and the complexity of the agreement.


It may be possible for us to complete contracts within 2 business days, subject to lawyer availability and your ability to provide us with comprehensive instructions. This service may be subject to a $500 rush fee.


Template agreement for standard employees: $2,000 plus tax

  • Senior/management employees: add $500 plus tax 
  • Amended template for existing employees: add $500 plus tax

Custom agreement: minimum fee of $1500 plus tax. The final cost will be based on time spent. If we prepared the template that is now being customized for a particular employee, the cost will be limited to time spent (typically 1-2 hours or around $500 plus tax).

We are pleased to offer a 10% discount on employment contracts drafted for companies that have their registered and records office through RDM.

Need Help?

A member of our Employment Law team will be happy to assist you in preparing enforceable employment contracts. Please contact our Litigation Intake Team at 778.666.3723 or by email at If you have your corporate file with us just let our corporate team know and we will be happy to liaise with them.

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