62 Free Employment Contract Templates (Basics) – Word | PDF

An Employment Contract is a legally binding agreement between an employer and employee that clearly outlines the duties, obligations, and terms of engagement during their working relationship.

A contract for employment includes the names of employee and employer, salary, period of employment, benefits, responsibilities, hours of work, and any other terms as agreed. The status of employment of an individual being recruited depends on IRS tax classification; W-2(employee)or 1099 (independent contractor)

An employment contract can also be referred to as:

  • Job Contract
  • Employee contract
  • Contract of employment
  • Employment Agreement

There are certain IRS requirements based on which, the companies that are hiring USA citizens and residents require you to have the following documents:

  • IRS Form W-4 

The IRS Form W-4  form is filled by the employee at the beginning of the employment, and it’s used to determine the number of deductions the Employer will withhold from your payments.

  • IRS Form W-9 

The IRS Form W-9 is generally filled by an independent contractor or freelancer at the beginning of employment if the services or labour to be paid for is more than $600. The W-9 provides a report to the IRS about tax information.

Free Templates

Standard employment contracts

Free Employment Contract Sample 01 for Word File

Editable Employment Contract Template 01 for Word File

Printable Employment Contract Template 02 for Word File

Free Employment Contract Sample 02 for Word File

    State-specific employment contracts

    Pros and Cons of an Employment Contract

    A job contract has its own advantages and disadvantages to the employer and employee.

    These advantages can be categorized as pros or cons in the following ways:


    • The roles and responsibilities of the employee are clearly outlined in the employee contract, and the employee understands what is expected on the job.
    • The employment contract protects the Employer as the employee can not disclose any business secrets to the competitors.
    • This contract provides stability to the company since the best employees are tied to a company under a stipulated time.


    • An employment contract limits the Employer from letting off an employee who is not performing and has not breached any section of the agreement.
    • These contracts are legally binding to both parties, and there are repercussions when either party breaches the contract.
    • For any change to happen in the employment contract, both parties must renegotiate the terms of the agreement, resulting in more legal costs.

    Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, and Confidentiality Clauses

    Non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality clauses are usually inserted in the employment contract by the employer to safeguard him or herself from any incidents that might occur which may lead to losses.

    These clauses are described below in detail:

    Non-compete clause

    A non-compete clause prevents an employee from working for another business competitor during and after terminating the employment contract. The non-compete clause usually is effective until a specific time after the employee has terminated the contract, and it’s usually stipulated in the job contract with it being limited to a specific geographic area.

    Non-solicitation agreement

    A non-solicit agreement in an employment contract forbids an employee from asking the other employees or clients to shift to another direct competitor company. It’s only valid for 1 to 3 years from the end date of the contract.

    Confidentiality clauses

    A confidentiality clause prohibits an employee from sharing any secrets or information that belongs to the company during the period of employment and even after the end of the employment contract without being permitted by the company. Confidentiality clauses are generally valid for a specific period, and it’s clearly outlined in the contract, after which it becomes null and void. The confidentiality clause may last indefinitely or until the company releases information to the public or have a validity date.


    A year after contract termination.

    Types of Employment Contract

     There are several types these contracts, and as an employer, you need to understand which group an employee falls under before getting into an agreement.

    The following are employment types and explanations:

    Free Independent Contractor Agreement Template for Word File

    Independent Contractor Agreement Template

    An independent contractor agreement is an agreement between a client and a service provider or a contractor. An independent contractor is not an employee and is paid for the service or the work done per the agreement. An independent contractor is categorized as a 1099 employee by the IRS tax classification.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Editable Non-Compete Agreement Template for Word File

    Non-Compete Agreement Template

    A non-compete agreement prohibits an employee from working for a competitor or running a business like an Employer during their time of engagement or after for a specified period. This clause is valid for a specific time, and it forbids an employee from being a future competitor or working for a competitor.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Professional Subcontractor Agreement Template for Word File

    Subcontractor Agreement Template

    subcontractor agreement is an agreement between a contractor and a subcontractor that allows a contractor to give some part of the work to another subcontractor to complete a particular task.  A subcontractor agreement is used to accomplish specific tasks of the original agreement by hiring other experts to do it.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Editable Permanent Full-Time Contract Template for Word File

    Permanent Full-Time Contract Template

    A permanent employee is contracted to an employer to accomplish a specific type of work for a particular time or hours. A permanent employee contract has no specified end date in the employment contract agreement.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Printable Permanent Part-Time Contract Template for Word File

    Permanent Part-Time Contract Template

    A permanent part-time employee is contracted to work for several hours and will not adhere to the full-time hours. A permanent part-time employee has no pre-determined date for the contract to end.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

    Free Fixed Term Employment Agreement Template for Word File

    Fixed Term Employment Agreement Template

    A fixed period or term employment contract is between an employer and employee that runs for a specified period. This type of contract automatically gets terminated when the date specified in the contract reaches, and the Employer has no obligations to notify the employee.

    Download: Microsoft Word (.docx)

      Who Needs an Employment Contract?

      For any officials involved in any business organizations or entities, the employment contract possesses a particular significance.

      An employment contract is typically an essential document to the following parties before starting an engagement:

      • Hiring managers and employers hiring new employees.
      • New employees who are looking to get employed and do not have any pre existing contract with another employer.

      Additional Employment Information

      There are certain factors or characteristics that are of great importance to be known and acknowledged by any relevant people involved in the employment processes as these factors are associated with employment generally and are applicable and relevant to different employed individuals.

      Some of such established and fixed factors that impact certain types of employment on a general level are as follows:

      Minimum wage

      The minimum wage is the minimum amount of pay that an /employer should pay an employee for the work done, which cannot be reduced. An authorized board usually sets minimum wage in a state, a labor court, or a union to protect employees from being exploited by employers with low pay.

      Trial (probationary) period

      A probationary period is when employers give new employees who join a company to gauge their suitability before employing them permanently. A probationary period varies typically from one employer to another and typically starts with three months. During the trial period, the employer may end the contract without notice and is not obliged to compensate you.

      After an employee completes the trial period, the employer may decide to hire the employee on a permanent contract or terminate the employee. After an employee passes the probationary period, the employee will now be eligible for higher benefits, and a permanent contract may be negotiated.

      Part-time vs. full-time working hours

      A part-time employee has stipulated working hours; for example, they will be considered part-time if they work 35 hrs or less per week.

      Full-time work employees must work for a minimum of 35 to 40 hours a week before overtime is included. There are no laws that define work as full-time, but 35 to 40 hours per week is regarded as full-time work before overtime is included, and overtime is paid at least one and half times the normal pay.

      Employee vs. independent contractor

      An employee works for a company, and the employer is responsible for taking the withholding tax from the employee and is paid a salary. An independent contractor is not an employee of a company and works for their own business and is paid for every project completed. An independent contractor fills the W-9 and is responsible for paying their taxes to the state. An employee is required to fill the IRS Form W-4. An independent contractor does not get unemployment insurance and is paid

      Preparing an Employment Contract

      An employment contract is a legal document. Before writing it, you have to capture all the information, such as the names of the company and employee and the terms of employment, and clearly outline the employee’s responsibilities.

      The following steps outline an effective way of writing an employment contract:

      Declaration of employment

       The following are important details that have to be captured in the declaration of employment:

      • Employment start date: In the introduction of the contract, you need to state the date from which the contract becomes effective.
      • Employer name: In the employment contract, the Employer’s name has to be stated for it to be effective. Any suffix of the company that refers to the official name of the Employing entity has to be included. For an employer who is a private entity, the official name of the Employer has to be recorded.
      • Employer and employee address: In the contract, the address of both the employer and employee has to be included in the contract and the contacts of both parties.
      • Employee name: The name of the individual being hired has to be clearly indicated and attached to the roles in this contract.
      • Terms of employment: Before starting employment, the Employer needs to outline the obligations and roles to the employee in terms of employment in the employment contract. The terms of employment clearly state where you will be working, the compensation, roles of the and the period of engagement.
      • Schedule: In the employment contract, you need to indicate the employee’s time to complete the assigned task by stating whether it’s full-time or part-time.
      • Duration of employment: The employment contract states the Period or the length of time that a contract is valid from the start date. So in this contract, the employee may be under a contractual contract or a temporary one.

      Statement of responsibilities

      For clarity in the employment contract, a statement of the responsibilities should be stated in the contract.

      • General responsibilities: The responsibilities for the employee and the job description during the period of engagement for this position should be clearly defined in the employment contract.
      • Confidentiality: The confidentiality clause is included in the contract to prohibit the Employer from sharing sensitive information from the company to outside competitors. The confidentiality clause validity is stipulated, and the period after which the agreement is terminated
      • Communications: A formal contact such as an email address where queries and any relevant information about the agreement can be directed in the employment contract. In cases where an employee is required to handle communication channels such as websites, email, or social media, a contract will state that it retains ownership and communication control.  

      Employment period

      For an employment contract with a defined period, the date at which the contract comes effective and the final date should be well documented in the contract.


      In a job contract, payment terms should be stated whether it is in hours worked or days. In addition, the deductions such as the tax percentage should be highlighted. In addition, the payment deductions from the payment such as State and Federal Taxes, Social Security, and Medicare are highlighted.


      The employee pay for the position in the job contract needs to be stated in numbers or figures and documented clearly in the contract.

      • Benefits: In an organization, there are certain benefits that the Employer offers to the employee during the period of engagement, such as an insurance scheme or a pension.

      Out-of-pocket expenses

      Sometimes an employee may incur personal expenses such as traveling or lodging while undertaking employment responsibilities. The contract should provide clear information if the company will refund the employee or not.

      Ownership interest

      During a working relationship between an employer and employee, the employee may have the right to own part of the business. Therefore, a contract where an employee has ownership interest should be defined in the contract.

      Trial period

      The trial period is indicated in an employment contract to show the durations that an employee is expected to work temporarily. For an employee under the trial period, the time should be indicated and the privilege that is eligible to.

      Vacation time

      While in employment, an employer may give a full-time employee a certain number of days in a year for vacation while still receiving full salary and benefits. The period allowed for the vacation should be noted in the contract.

      Personal leave

      Personal leave is the time that an employee is exempted from work to attend to personal reasons. First, the Employer must state whether the employee will be eligible for pay for the leave period.

      Federal holidays

      Every calendar year, an employer observes a certain number of state holidays, and the employees are exempted from work during those days. The federal holidays in each year should be well stipulated in the employment contract

      Non-compete/future competition

       This clause should be included in a contract to protect the Employer, and its validity date is stated after the end of the contract.

      Employer’s role

      During the employment period, an employer may allow an employee to act on behalf of the business in a specific capacity or require an employee to seek authorization. In the contract, the Employer should have defined terms at which the employee may act or not.


      The Employer may specify where an employee may be required to work and report for specified days. An employer may give an option where an employee may fail to report to work physically due to unavoidable circumstances and still face no consequences


      During the employment, an employee experiences an incident that will render him disabled and no longer able to efficiently fulfill the assigned duties. As a result, the employer will have to set a notice period to notify the employer.


      In an employment contract, any formal communication about the agreement, the employee should have a formal communication through the mail given in the contract.

      Governing law

      Where this contract is applicable, there are specific laws that both parties will have to abide by. The laws of the state where they are stated will help in controlling the contract, and in case of a breach, you will be charged in court

      Signatures by employer and employee

      After all the fields have been completed in the employment contract and both parties agree, they will be required to append their signatures and name. The hiring manager is usually mandated to sign on behalf of the organization.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What is the difference between an employee contract and a temporary employee contract?

      An employment contract is a contract issued to an employee to perform specific responsibilities for a certain period. A temporary employment contract is a contract between an employee and employer to work for a specified number of days or hours.

      What is an implied employment contract?

      This is an oral contract between two parties who do not have a written contract but are obliged by the law to fulfill it. If you agree to perform a particular task for a person, you automatically get into an implied contract.

      About This Article

      Maria Latimer
      Authored by:
      U.S. Licensed Attorney - Commercial Civil Litigation, Employment and Labor Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property Protection and Counseling
      Maria Latimer stands as a meticulously detail-oriented attorney, deeply entrenched in the multifaceted realms of the U.S. legal framework. With expertise spanning business formation and structures, she is adept at commercial civil litigation, navigating the intricacies of employment and labor law, and addressing delicate family matters, particularly in divorce and prenuptial contexts. Additionally, Maria's proficiency in intellectual property ensures robust protection and insightful counseling. Her portfolio is a testament to her versatility and depth, comprising a plethora of contracts she has crafted, ranging from Consulting and Operating Agreements to more nuanced documents like Non-solicitation and Confidentiality Agreements. From Website Privacy Policies to intricate Licensing and Financing Agreements, Maria's comprehensive expertise ensures that she remains a leading figure in the legal landscape, offering unparalleled expertise across her practice areas.

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