Letter of Offer Checklist

A helpful checklist of what an inclusive employer needs to include in written letters of offer to a new employee.

A written offer of employment constitutes an employment contract and outlines the employee and employer rights and obligations. It should be offered and accepted prior to the employee commencing work.

Here are things to include:

Position Title and Employment Type:

  • Include the title of the position and identify if the position is part-time, full-time or temporary/contract.

Job duties and responsibilities:

  • Key responsibilities should be listed, along with a sentence indicating other duties may be assigned as business needs arise.

Compensation—Salary, bonus, commission structure, etc:

Be clear about the total compensation in addition to the annual salary or hourly rate of pay, such as profit sharing or bonus structure, transit allowance, cell-phone, expense accounts, parking and mileage.

Hours of work:

Include your hours of business and any expected on-call availability, overtime, business travel or weekend work.

Vacation allotment:

Specify how many weeks of vacation an employee is entitled to, plus any increase to this allotment after a given period.

Company expectations:

Outline your organization’s dress and conduct codes, as well as any required equipment a candidate needs to start the job (eg. safety workwear).

Probation period:

While the typical probationary period as defined by the Employment Standards Act is three months, some organizations have a six-month probation period.

Health and safety responsibilities:

You may wish to include the following clause: “You have the responsibility to report unsafe working conditions; you have the right to work in a safe environment and receive training on any procedures you are unfamiliar with.”

Reasons for termination with “cause”:

Outline the reasons that would cause you to end the employment relationship. These may include poor performance, dishonesty, theft, or a breach of confidentiality that affects the organization adversely.

Statutory holiday entitlement:

Identify any days your organization considers to be statutory holidays beyond those indicated in Canada’s Employment Standards Acts.

Notice period:

Outline the number of weeks of notice reasonably expected from an employee prior to holidays, leave or departure.


Making It Legal

  • Ensure that you are in compliance with your provincial or territorial Employment Standards legislation.
  • Ensure that the offer is signed prior to starting work.
  • Ensure that the offer is self-contained and does not refer to other employee handbooks or guidelines, as these may be amended from time to time.


This chapter is an extra from the B2B Untapped Talent Guide to Innovative Hiring and Retention.

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