Q&As on Employment relationship and labour contracts

Question: What are the minimum elements that need to be contractually agreed in an employment contract? Are there any ILO standards or recommendations on the minimum content of an employment contract?

Answer: ILO Conventions do not specify matters to be included in employment contracts. However, Standard A2.1 of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 provides guidance on minimum provisions for seafarers’ employment agreements and the Domestic Workers’ Convention, 2013 (No. 189), Article 7, provides similar guidance in respect to domestic workers. These instruments might be useful for you as a guide for provisions of employment contracts more generally.

The provisions include the following:

MLC 2006 Domestic Workers’ Convention, 2013
  The period of probation or trial period, if applicable.
The capacity in which the seafarer is to be employed. The type of work to be performed.
The amount of the wage. The remuneration, method of calculation and periodicity of payments.
  The normal hours of work and daily and weekly rest periods.
The amount of paid annual leave. The amount of paid annual leave.
  The provision of food and accommodation, if applicable.
The conditions entitling either party to terminate the contract, as well as the required notice period, which shall not be less for the shipowner than for the seafarer. The terms and conditions relating to the termination of employment, including any period of notice by either the domestic worker or the employer.
The health and social security protection benefits to be provided to the seafarer by the shipowner. The terms of repatriation, if applicable.

Question: What are the norms and international conventions on disguised employment relationships?

Answer: Several international instruments address the issue of employment relation and in particular the disguised employment relationship. Firstly we can find the Employment Relationship Recommendation of 2006 (No. 198) (hereinafter "the recommendation"), adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2006. Paragraphs 4 (b), 5, 11 and 13 of the recommendation are particularly relevant to the issue of disguised employment relationship.

Furthermore, States should take into account international labour standards related issues when designing and implementing, according to the recommendation, its policies for the protection of workers in an employment relationship. See "The Employment Relationship: An Annotated Guide to ILO Recommendation No. 198, International Labour Office (2007)" and national legislation on the employment relationship.