A Ticket Of Trust: The One-Page Employment Contract

Written by in Practices
- 2 min read

Signing a new employment contract is a milestone for most of us. It accompanies the start of a new adventure full of hope and ambition. However, the contract itself is boring, scary, and full of incomprehensible legal mumbo-jumbo. Luckily, there is an alternative. Here's what happened when two Bucket List pioneers teamed up.

Daniel Maats, of Law firm Law firm Bruggink van der Velden (BvdV), has done it again. Earlier, he pioneered a radical alternative to the traditional employment contract (chronicled on our blog earlier). It's aim? To ensure the employment contract is just as much fun as the act it symbolizes.

Tony's Chocolonely

This time he worked with another pioneering organization from our Bucket List, Tony's Chocolonely. This purpose-driven chocolate company is always up for a challenge, ready to rethink how we work. This was a progressive match made in heaven.

They worked to overhaul the boring contract most people are used to. They ditched overly complex legal lingo and eliminated many do this and don't do that clauses. Instead, they focused on highlighting company purpose and values, plus mutual trust and common sense.

The biggest challenge? "To create a contract based on a completely different paradigm; to approach it from a position of trust, not distrust", said Daniel.

A ticket of trust

The result? An uplifting, joyful and clear 1-page contract in true Tony style. Check it out here. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

article photo

It details the main agreements between the employer and employee, and leaves out the crappy stuff (mostly covered in Dutch law anyway).

Daniel Maats: "So far, the response has been overwhelming. Most striking is that people do indeed experience the 'old style' employment contract as negative, while it should be a joyous moment to sign it: A 'ticket of trust'."

Kudos to Tony's Chocolonely and BvdV for pushing the boundaries once more!

What are your thoughts? Should more companies adopt this 'ticket of trust'? Comment below.

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Replies (5)

Keely Maitland

Keely Maitland

Trust is crucial for any relationship to work. The quickest way to dim that trust is to start the relationship with a document packed full of legal jargon and adversarial terms and conditions.

We don't just start relationships with employees this way. unfathomably we also start relationships with customers this way.

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Marieke Driessens

Marieke Driessens

Eindelijk een mooi voorbeeld van hoe het ook anders kan.
Vertrouwen is de basis, anders kun je net zo goed niet gaan samenwerken. In de traditionele arbeidsovereenkomsten staat nu teveel wetten en regels beschreven die voorkomen dat iemand ergens een misstap zou kunnen maken.
Maar met een nieuw idee over een arbeidsovereenkomst zijn we er nog niet. Ik hoop dat deze bedrijven ook werken met een moderne stijl van leidinggevende (lees: ondersteunend aan de medewerker) want als je nog een (oude) stijl hebt op basis van hiërarchie en macht, dan loopt waarschijnlijk nog alle energie uit je medewerkers.

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James Beazley

James Beazley

I would love to see the 'serious about people' guide that goes with this contract. I think it is a great initiative and something so practical and straightforward.

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curtis michelson

curtis michelson

Love it, but did the really use RED and BLUE colors against each other? That's like designed to cause headache and hallucination, or is that part of the onboarding process? ;)

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James Read

James Read

Really nice. And good inspiration.
One line stood out to me as being more on the distrusting side, and I wondered what others thought.
It's the one about if you want to do other work on the side then make sure to discuss it upfront. This feels old-school controlling to me. Yes, I'd love to know what others do on the side, but this sounds like you need approval first. I'm not loving that point.
The rest is great and I'm sure I'm going to reference it a lot.

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