A Valuable Lesson in Writing Your Tutor Contract:
If you will be hiring tutors, it is always a good idea to have them sign a tutor contract that will spell out the terms of their employment, what is expected of them and, equally important, what they are not permitted to do. I usually caution business owners that a contract will not absolutely prevent a tutor from poaching your customers, working for the competition, or stealing your resources and processes. It will however make the employee think twice before engaging in any of these activities and provide legal recourse should you wish to pursue this.
Below is a summary of the key points sections that you should include at a minimum.
Definitions: This section will clearly define some of the terms that are frequently referred to, such as ‘The Employee’ or ‘The Contractor’, ‘The Company’, ‘The Customer’, ‘The Services’ and ‘Tutor Guidelines’.
Scope and Term: Identify the role of the employee or contractor, the term of service, and if the contract period automatically renews.
Payment: How much will the tutor will be paid, how frequently, and through what means (bank deposit, cheque etc.).
Taxes: Identify who is responsible for remitting taxes and contributions. A Contractor would normally be responsible for this, while an employer would normally deduct this from the employee’s paycheck.
Ownership of Works: This is where you stipulate that any works or resources that are developed by the employee or contractor for the use of the company will become the sole property of the company. The employee cannot take all your resources and start his own tutoring company.
Confidential Information: The employee will only use information provided by the company for providing services on behalf of the company. The employee will treat all information as confidential. You may also want to include a list of the type of information that is exempt from this clause.
Customers: The employee or contractor acknowledges that the customers are customers of your company, and that he/she will not, under any circumstance, work directly for any of your customers. This is an anti-poaching clause. You may also want to include a clause that prevents the employee from working for your customers for a period of time after her employment has ended.
Termination: How much notice you are required to provide for termination, and what materials and equipment the employee must return when terminated.
Impairing Obligations: The employee will not work for other companies while he/she is working for you.
Relationship of Parties: This is where you stipulate whether the person is an employee or an independent contractor.
Indemnification: You may want the contractor to indemnify (hold harmless) your company from any harm to himself, or loss or damage of equipment that may result in his working for you on your premises or the customer’s premises. This may be reasonable if the contractor is working autonomously.
Arbitration: This section outlines a process for resolution of potential disputes without having to through the court system. This may also refer to specific government arbitration acts to be followed.
Limitation of Liability: Your company is only liable to the contractor for payments due to the contractor.
Signatures: This contract must be signed and dated in duplicate by both parties, and a complete copy of each, including appendices, provided to each party.
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