Sunder bans National Park
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This article is written by Mustafa Vilaitywala by who is pursuing a Certificate Course in Introduction to Legal Drafting: Contracts, Petitions, Opinions & Articles from Lawsikho.

Introduction 

This article dwells on the topic of an employment agreement, demanded by the Sundarbans national park for its employees of various ranks, and work types, which necessitates clauses accordingly while providing a comprehensive draft of employment agreement for a field officer.

The Sundarbans National Park

This UNESCO world heritage site lies in the southeast of Calcutta, shared by Bangladesh and West Bengal, having the majority of its area. The Sundarbans, containing the world’s largest mangrove forest covering an area of 10,000 km sq., a part of the world’s largest delta formed from sediments, home to a diverse range of endangered species, a kingdom of the famous Royal Bengal Tigers, and one of the seven most globally important wetlands of the world.

Dedicated teams of multifarious backgrounds are engaged for the functioning of this colossal natural habitat, and to sustain this complex interaction between a huge assortment of factors.

Employment Agreement

When a potential candidate comes on board in a new job an employment agreement is signed. It spells out the rules, rights, responsibilities and liabilities for both the employer and the employee, and includes any special obligations undertaken that are unique in a specific hiring situation.  

new legal draft

Components to be kept in mind while drafting an employment agreement.

Outlining the duties and roles:

At the preliminary stage of drafting an Employment Agreement, it is essential to delineate the roles and duties of the employee, and identifying the term of performance, that is whether long term for filling the position of an ex-employee, etc. or temporary employee to be assigned on a new/temporary project or filling for someone on maternity or paternity leave.   

Compensation

The next important point being, outlining the compensation and, add on benefits to be provided by the employer, stating the terms on which they are obtained. Explaining what the benefit plans include (medical, dental etc.), what percentage does the employer and employee pay and related variables. Additionally, it can also encompass information regarding the annual salary or hourly rate, information about raises, or any other fringe benefits.

Breach, consequences of breach and remedy

Some major questions need to be answered for this clause to be effective. These can be what act/ omission would amount to breach, or certain events to be considered as a breach of an employment agreement, similarly what could be the consequences of the said breaches and what remedies can be sought in these cases if any.

Herein the term breach shall be conspicuously described as it often leads to contentions in future. 

Termination and requirements after termination

This clause explains under what circumstances can either of the parties terminate the contract, this may include termination of material breach, free will etc., including the notice period and conditions if it can be orally given. 

Further, it may include any restrictions or mandates on an employee after leaving the organization. 

Documentation of policies

The employer/ company needs to be prepared with written guidelines, policies and procedures that consolidate to form workplace guidelines, terms and conditions for its seamless day to day functioning, these guidelines shall be in consonance with rules laid out by the government, and the principles of business.

The employer shall prepare a policy statement guideline, a welcome kit/ new employees handbook, policy manuals, safety policy manual, etc.

Protection of Intellectual property

These are the type of information not available to the general public and in the case of Sundarbans National Park, this would include, certain logos and other marks used on this website, sensitive information regarding the national park, any research work or archaeological work conducted in the premise, artwork, photograph, marketing processes, salary structures, client lists, details of the contract, etc. 

This clause further outlines the liability of the employee towards this information, what can he/she do with this information and what repercussions could happen should they violate the said agreement. 

Severability

To avoid future conflicts, the employer shall well in advance be prepared for an instance wherein due to the change(s) in government guidelines or some part of the contract being declared illegal, what shall be the status of the remaining contract? Or what part shall still be applicable?  

Governing Law

It is equally important to be aware of the governing law of the employment agreement, and shall be helpful to abide by the law and that the agreement is in accordance with the said laws. This aspect gains more relevance as in the present case of Sundarbans National Park, due to the fact that it shares an international boundary with Bangladesh.  

Types of employment agreements to be used by Sundarbans National Park.

To maintain this mighty landscape, a legion of dedicated personnel of various qualifications and ranks ranging from high-level directors to assistants and fearless field officers, undertake this humongous task. This wide-ranging employment demands a unique set of clauses for each employment agreement, in addition to the abovementioned clauses, these agreements shall also include the following clauses. The same are discussed below while dealing with Employment Agreement for field officer in detail; 

Employment Agreement for a high-level official: 

Sample clauses:

Board membership clause: During the Employment Term, Executive shall serve as a member of the board, subject to any required Board, shareholder and regulatory approval.

Employment agreement for an assistant or other junior-level office worker: 

Sample clauses:

Maintenance of Records:

The Executive agrees to keep and maintain adequate and current written records of all Inventions made by the Executive (solely or jointly with others) during the Executive’s employment with the Company. The records will be in the form of notes, sketches, drawings, and any other format that may be specified by the Company. The records will be provided to, and remain the sole property of, the Company at all times.

Patent and Copyright Registrations

The Executive agrees to assist the Company, or its designee, at the Company’s expense, in every proper way, to secure the Company’s rights in the Inventions and any copyrights, patents, mask work rights, trade  

Employment agreement for a veterinary: 

Covenants: this clause enumerates every action that the party may commit to undertake or abstain from. Non-fulfilment of which shall amount to a breach of the Agreement. 

Sample:

Covenants: So long as this Agreement shall remain in effect, the Veterinary represents and covenants as following:

  1. Plan, lead and engage in the national park’s veterinary clinic’s health care programme.
  2. Establishes and implements appropriate quarantine testing protocols for all incoming animals in order to ensure collection protection, avoid disease transmission, and comply with government regulations.
  3. Conduct immunisation and preventive care services on a daily basis to keep animals healthy and protect them from communicable diseases.
  4. Animals who are sick or injured should be treated right away.
  5. Participate in the preparation and execution of diet reproduction plans for zoo animals with other staff members.
  6. Participate in animal-handling training for employees.
  7. Cooperate with National Park’s, Field Officers to share information about animal care, to arrange for an animal transfer, and to maintain a nationwide inventory of animals of all species, including the recording of live births.

Sample agreement Employment Agreement for a Field Officer

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT

This employment agreement (“The Agreement”), entered on __________ at Sundarbans, West Bengal.

By and Between 

Sundarbans National Park, National park, registered under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Having its registered office at______________________________. (hereinafter referred as “The Employer”), of the ONE PART;

AND

Mr. Abc, is an Indian adult, 36 years old, bearing Aadhar number_____________ and PAN __________________. Currently residing at ________________________________, (hereinafter referred as “The Employee”), of the OTHER PART.

{Herein after as the context may require the Employer and the Employee shall individually be referred as “The Party” and collectively as “The Parties”}

WHEREAS

  1. WHEREAS, the Employer is engaged in protecting and conserving wildlife and natural resources, created and protected by the national government through the notification in 1984,
  2. WHEREAS, the Employer desires to engage the Employee as the “Field officer”, to carry out the duties and obligation as may be specified by the Employer from time to time.
  3. WHEREAS, the Employee desires to extend his services to the Employer, subject to the terms and conditions set out in this Agreement.
  4. WHEREAS, Employee desires to accept employment as the Field Officer of Mr. Abc

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises set forth herein, the Employer and the Employee hereby agree as follows:

 

  • Employment

 

  1. The Employer hereby employs the Employee as a Field Officer, the terms and conditions of which shall be determined by applicable policies and procedure manuals, employee manuals, or other written governing documents belonging to and utilized by Employer including this Agreement. In case of any dispute between this Agreement and the governing policy or manuals as set out hereinabove, this Agreement shall govern.
  2. The Employee hereby represents and warrant that Employee possesses the required skills, knowledge, qualification, and experience to perform Employee’s duties. 
  3. Except as provided below, the term of this Agreement and the Employee’s employment with the Employer shall be deemed to have commenced on ________and continue to remain in full force and effect at all times.
  4. Employee’s employment with Employer shall be “at-will” and terminable by either party at any time, subject to the provisions of this Agreement (the “Period of Employment”)
  5. In addition to the specific duties assigned to the Employee, Employee shall also be accountable to all normal duties, responsibilities, and functions ordinarily exercised by a Field Officer, Further, the roles and duties shall be briefed by a superior officer monthly, weekly and daily basis.
  6. That the Employee agrees to devote his/her entire time, attention, knowledge, skill, ability and efforts during normal working hours solely and exclusively to the interests, operations and affairs of the Employer and to the performance of his duties hereunder.
  7. The spread of hours for Safari Guides is between 6:00am and 6:00pm which may be extended past 6:00pm by mutual agreement.

 

  • Salary

 

      1. The commencement salary for new Employees should normally be at the entry point salary for their band. Depending on their competency and/or the prevailing market rate for the job, a higher rate of pay may be warranted.
      2. That the payment of salaries shall be made no later than the second Tuesday of each pay period. The Employer must pay salaries, allowances, penalty or overtime payments due to the Employee by electronic direct credit to a bank account nominated by the Employee. In exceptional circumstances, The Employee will make provision for off-line payments.
      3. By this Agreement the Employee may authorise deductions from salary for forwarding to health insurance organisations, credit co-operatives and other agreed institutions.

 

  • Covenants

 

Covenants: So long as this Agreement shall remain in effect, the Field Officer represents and covenants the following, including but not limited to:

  1. Performs a variety of tasks related to the upkeep and renovation of park properties, such as visitor facilities, houses, highways, fire trails, camping areas, lodging areas, parking areas, historic sites, and recreational infrastructure and fencing.
  2. Maintain and service parks and visitor facilities on a regular basis, including garbage collection, sanitation, hygienic duties, event site planning, and traffic control.
  3. Subject to training and certifications participate in wildfire response at the crew member level to protect public safety, land, and park values. Participation in incident response may be required.
  4. Participates in visitor safety programmes such as search and rescue and events where training and qualification are required.
  5. Hand tools, powered tools, spray units, water pumps, chainsaws, all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel drives, and minor plants are among the potentially dangerous plant and equipment that must be operated and maintained.

 

  • Training 

 

      1. The Employer may require Employees to attend various paid Training Courses, Seminars and Conferences. In such circumstances, the Employer shall pay all relevant expenses associated with such attendance.
      2. Where a training program is held other than at Sundarbans National Parks, Employees will receive payment for any additional travel time, and the travel expenses shall be reimbursed on production of receipts of expenditure.

 

  • Condition of Employment – Medical Examination

 

      1. That the Employer requires the Employee to undergo a medical examination by a designated qualified practitioner, the examination will be conducted at no expense to the Employee.
      2. The Employer shall make every reasonable effort to schedule an appointment for an examination referred to in paragraph (a) during his/her working hours. When this is not possible.
      3. The Employer shall pay for reasonable travel expenses, incurred as a result of paragraph (a) on the production of receipts of expenditure.

 

  • Hours of Work

 

      1. The ordinary hours of work for the Employee shall be average 76 hours per fortnight (exclusive of meal breaks), to be worked over an average of no more than 10 days per fortnight.
      2. The Employee has the right to request flexibility in their hours of work. The Employer shall not unreasonably refuse any request for flexibility.

 

  • Termination of Employment

 

      1. By Death or Disability: The Period of Employment shall terminate automatically upon Employee’s death. If, in the sole opinion of the Employer the Employee shall be prevented from properly performing Employee’s duties hereunder by reason of any physical or mental incapacity, while performing his/her duty, for a period of more than 90 days in the aggregate in any 12-month period, then, to the extent permitted by law, the Period of Employment shall also terminate.
      2. By Employer for Cause:  Employer may terminate, without liability, the Period of Employment for the following Cause:
        1. because of any act or failure to act by Employee which, in the sole opinion of the Employer is in bad faith and to the detriment of Employer;
        2. If the Employee fails to act in accordance with the orders or direction given by the superior;
        3. That the Employee, in the reasonable opinion of the Employer has breached any material term of this Agreement.
      3.  At-Will: Employer may terminate, without liability, the Period of Employment for any reason, with or without cause, by giving 15 days’ advance written notice to the Employee, and the Employee may terminate the Period of Employment, for any reason, with or without cause, by giving 15 days’ advance written notice to Employer      

 

  • Clothing, Tools & Equipment

 

      1. The Employee will be provided with all uniforms, protective or special clothing, instruments, supplies, tools, and stationery they will need to perform their duties.
      2. The Employees shall maintain the uniforms and equipment issued in good working order.
      3. In case the Employee, through no fault of his/her own, harms or spoils personal clothing, boots, or personal equipment while performing their duties will have those objects fixed, washed, or replaced by the Employer. 

 

  • Miscellaneous

 

    1. Governing Law: This Agreement shall be deemed to have been negotiated and entered into and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the state of West Bengal, and of India applicable to agreements which are fully negotiated, signed and performed within such state. All actions and proceedings, whether by way of arbitration or litigation, brought by either Employee or Employer as to any matter arising out of or relating to this Agreement, shall be instituted and prosecuted solely within the Kolkata jurisdiction and the Employee hereby consents to the jurisdiction and venue of any state or federal court within such local.
    2. Notices: All notices or other communications required or permitted hereunder shall be made in writing and shall be deemed to have been duly given if delivered by hand or mailed, postage prepaid, by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, with proof of delivery obtained, and addressed as follows:

If to the Employer:

Attention: NAME OF THE EMPLOYER 

Address: OFFICE ADDRESS

E-mail: __________

If to the Employee:

Attention: ____________

Address: ____________

Tel: ____________

E-mail:          ____________

Any change in the address of either party shall be notified to the other party in the same manner mentioned hereinabove.

  1. Severability; Enforcement: If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person, place, or circumstance, shall be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, unenforceable, or void, the remainder of this Agreement and such provisions as applied to other persons, places, and circumstances shall remain in full force and effect.
  2. Employee hereby represents and warrants to the Employer that he is not subject to/party to any covenants, agreements or restrictions, including, without limitation, any covenants, agreements or restrictions arising out of any prior employment or independent contractor relationships, which would be breached or violated by the Employee’s execution of this Agreement or performance of his duties hereunder.
  3. In the event that the Employee leaves the Employer, he hereby consents to notification by the Employer to his new employer about his obligations under this Agreement.

{The abovementioned clauses in the Employment Agreement are not exhaustive and shall include as per need and demanded by the circumstances}

Conclusion 

For a detailed and well-drafted agreement, it is pertinent to deliberate upon the above-mentioned points. An employment agreement shall be drafted by stressing upon each circumstance, and the ways to deal with the same, that may arise between the employer and employee.

References 

 


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