A contract is a meeting of the minds. Once the general requisites of a contract are present, a personal data sheet may become an employment contract.

At the Asian Institute Manage (AIM) labor law seminar last week, I received an interesting question from one of the participants. She asked whether a personal data sheet that contains stipulations regarding employment may be considered an employment contract.

I answered in the affirmative provided certain conditions are met. As with any other agreement, an employment contract should have the general requisites of consent, object, and consideration.

Employment is a Contract

An employment is a contract by and between the employer and the employee.

A contract is essentially a meeting of the minds. The general requisites to perfect a contract are as follows: consent, object, and consideration. So long as these requisites are met, a contract will be perfected resulting in the creation of rights and obligations between the parties.

Hence, to be valid, an employment contract simply needs to have consent, object, and consideration.

Consent

In a contract, consent is manifested by the signature of the contracting parties. In employment, that is the signature between the employer (or his duly authorized representative) and the employee. To have a valid consent between the parties, the employment contract should clearly state therein the terms and conditions of employment.

As a matter of best legal practice, a good employment contract should contain the essentials only. All other terms and conditions of employment should be stated in the company policies so that they can easily be revised later on. Any revision to the employment contract will require the signature of both parties again. On the other hand, any revision to the company policies does not require the signature of the employee as it is within the management’s prerogative to lay down the rules and regulations in the workplace.

Object

The object of an employment contract is employment.

The employer offers employment to the applicant and prospective employment in exchange for compensating the latter for his services. In particular, the employee will be required to do a certain specific work, task, or responsibility.

Consideration

Compensation is the consideration of an employment contract.

In exchange for rendering services, the employee receives and is paid his compensation. The compensation must be in legal tender. It cannot be paid in other ways, like concert tickets, company merchandise, or freebies.

Personal Data Sheet as Heading of the Contract

What if the employment contract carries the heading of Personal Data Sheet?

It does not matter. The title of contract is not controlling nor binding. At best, it is an indication of what may be the nature and contents of the document. It is the actual contents and stipulations in the document which will be controlling and binding between the parties.

To be clear, even if the document has a heading stating Personal Data Sheet, it is considered an employment contract if the terms and conditions of employment are stated therein, as well as the consideration through compensation, and the consent of the parties via the signatures.

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I take this opportunity to thank Ariva! Events Management for inviting me as one of the nine speakers in their recently concluded labor law seminar entitled 2nd People and Labor Relations Forum: Labor Safety Works!: Managing Health, Safety Environment an Labor Law Regulatory Compliance, held at the Asian Institute Management (AIM), Makati City.

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