Road to my career
Contracts are legal documents that unambiguously define all the important details of a paid service to both sides involved. They will cover subjects such as payment, duration and what happens in certain circumstances, such as if one side cannot uphold their end of the contract. When given a contract you must be aware of all the details as many contracts are negotiable so you don’t agree to something you cannot uphold, if a contract cannot be negotiated to an acceptable point it can often be best to refuse the contract as not fulfilling a signed contract can result in legal repercussions. A contract is designed to ensure both sides are protected as long as they uphold the commitments they signed for, this means it can work to save you from not being paid for a job if you were within the bounds of the contract, but this also means you can face legal actions if you act outside of your contracted obligation.
There are a variety of types of contract available, full time and part time contracts are very similar, but diverge when it comes to working hours and benefits available, with full time workers gaining more benefits such as health insurance, sick leave and annual leave. These contracts define a minimum level of paid holiday, a minimum length of rest breaks and a maximum number of hours to be worked in a week. Another type are freelance contracts, these workers are self-employed or work for another company, they may not be entitled to the same rights as other workers, though employers are still responsible for their health and safety.
Here is an example of a creative media contract, one of the defining features of any contract is the way it makes unambiguous terms such as “Producers are not responsible for lost or damaged materials” and “Customer agrees to indemnify and hold Producers harmless from any and all claims for any loss, damage or delay to the Materials or Project while in transit or in the possession of third-party services”. The terms are designed in such a way that should these circumstances arise both sides have already agreed upon who would or would not be liable and what actions should or shouldn’t be taken.
It is also important to note that hourly rates and delivery dates are defined within a contract, as can be seen above any need for alteration is made clear too. “All additional changes must be submitted and approved by both parties in writing by approved Contract Change form”, this statement informs both parties what do do if any change is necessary and highlights that changes to the contract require forms of their own and are not just spoken agreements. Similarly if the designers in the above contract are delayed they must make “reasonable effort” to notify the customer of changes, this means that if they cannot justify why they did not inform the customer of changes within a reasonable time period they could be in breach of the contract which could result in legal action.