Types of employment contract

An employment contract may be temporary or open-ended. It is either full-time or part-time.

Most jobs are regular, meaning that no time limit is specified in the contract and the employment ends when a party serves notice that the arrangement will end after a certain period of notice.

A temporary employment contract may only be made for a legitimate reason, such as when serving as a replacement for a regular employee on temporary leave of absence. Neither party may terminate a temporary employment contract unless the parties have explicitly agreed on such a termination procedure. Instead the employment ends without notice when the agreed working period has been completed.

The terms and conditions of employment that the employee enjoys under an employment contract may not fall below the minimum standards that are guaranteed by law or by the collective agreement governing work in the industry concerned. An agreement to work for less is not enforceable, and the employee remains entitled to the guaranteed minimum.

Full-time and part-time contracts

The most common type of employment contract is full-time. A part-time worker works fewer contracted hours than a full-time employee. Try to avoid signing any employment contract for weekly working hours that vary between zero and some specified upper limit. Such a contract may leave you with no work or income in some weeks.

Employers must give their current part-time employees first refusal of any additional work before hiring new employees. Vacancies must also be advertised in a manner that enables incumbent parttime and temporary employees to apply for these positions.

Agency work

An agency employee is employed by an agency, but works for a client business of the agency under the direction and supervision of that client business, which also shares responsibility for the employee’s guidance and occupational safety with the agency.

Agency employers have the same legal duties as conventional employers. The employment contract should generally be open-ended, with temporary contracts only concluded on the same objective grounds as in conventional employment. The mere fact that work is arranged through an agency does not justify a time limit in the employment contract. The terms and conditions of agency employment are governed by the collective agreement that applies in the client business unless the agency is bound by some other collective agreement.

On-the-job training

Traineeships are involved in most forms of education, and wages must be paid when the work is done as an employee.


An apprenticeship is one way to learn a profession or occupation. Apprenticeship training is based on a special employment contract made with an employer, and takes the form of on-the-job learning combined with theoretical instruction on courses.

The apprentice is paid for time spent at the workplace and receives financial aid for time spent in theoretical training. The employer also receives training compensation.