An employment contract is an essential document that outlines the terms and conditions of an employment relationship between an employer and an employee. It sets out the legal rights and obligations of both parties and provides a framework for a harmonious working relationship. However, not all clauses in an employment contract are enforceable, and some may be struck out by a court if they are found to be illegal or against public policy. That is where the severability clause comes in.
A severability clause, also known as a savings clause, is a provision in an employment contract that states that if any part of the contract is found to be invalid or unenforceable, the other parts of the contract will remain in effect. The clause serves to protect the interests of both the employer and the employee in the event that one or more clauses in the contract are deemed unenforceable.
The purpose of the severability clause is to prevent the entire contract from being voided by the invalidity of a single clause. For example, if an employment contract contains a non-compete clause that is later found to be illegal or against public policy, the entire contract could be invalidated if there is no severability clause. However, with a severability clause, the non-compete clause can be struck out while leaving the other clauses intact.
It is important to note that a severability clause is not a guarantee that all clauses in a contract will be enforceable. If a court finds that a clause is illegal or against public policy, it will be invalidated regardless of whether there is a severability clause or not. However, a severability clause can increase the likelihood that the rest of the contract will remain in effect.
Employers should include a severability clause in their employment contracts to protect themselves and their employees from the consequences of a single invalid clause. In the absence of a severability clause, an entire contract could be invalidated by the invalidity of a single clause, which could have serious implications for both the employer and the employee.
In conclusion, a severability clause is an important provision that should be included in employment contracts. It protects both employers and employees in the event that one or more clauses in the contract are found to be invalid or unenforceable. Employers should ensure that their contracts contain a proper severability clause to minimize the risk of the entire contract being invalidated.