Preliminary contract and negotiations


The preliminary contract is an institution with wide application. Either party may be the initiator of such an agreement. It is a kind of promise - for both parties - to conclude the target employment contract at a later time. The Civil Code expressly states that one of the parties (or both) undertakes to conclude a previously promised employment contract.

What is included in the preliminary contract?

The conclusion of the preliminary contract should be preceded by negotiations. In this way, the most important elements of the contract to be concluded in the future between the parties are established. In practice, the type of contract and the amount of remuneration or other benefits related to the position offered are most often negotiated.

There are all sorts of prohibited clauses proposed during the negotiations that a candidate should not agree to. As a rule, they reduce employee rights guaranteed by the provisions of the labor law.

It is essential that the preliminary contract contains the following elements:

  • type and place of work,
  • the amount of remuneration, with an indication of its components,
  • working hours,
  • the date of commencement of work (if the date of concluding the contract has not been specified, in this case it should be specified by the party entitled to request the conclusion of this contract).

The form of the preliminary contract is not legally reserved, therefore it may be concluded in writing or orally. For practical reasons, it is worth having all declarations in writing for your own safety - in the event of compensation proceedings.

Important !

If the preliminary contract is not concluded, and the parties fail to negotiate the terms of the future contract, it is not possible to conclude the promised contract.

However, when a contract is concluded and not performed, there are certain consequences. The party that has breached is exposed to the payment of compensation for damage caused to the party hoping to conclude it.

Preliminary agreement - pursuing claims

The law provides for the possibility of pursuing claims in court. Most often, this situation occurs when the employer refuses to hire an employee after concluding a preliminary contract. In order to effectively assert one's rights, the contract must meet the requirements on which its validity depends (these elements are at least the type of contract as well as working and pay conditions).

Claims become time-barred after one year from the moment when the promised contract was to be concluded. In a situation where the court dismissed the request to conclude the promised contract, the claim shall be time-barred after one year from the date on which the court decision became final.

Summarizing the above considerations regarding the preliminary contract and negotiations, it should be concluded that the negotiations are an element preceding the conclusion of the preliminary contract. They are designed to jointly establish the basic terms of the contract.