The Suriname Civil Code (Burgerlijk Wetboek) distinguishes three types of agreements for the performance of work:
- An agreement for the contract of services (Aanneming van werk);
- An agreement to perform certain services (Overeenkomst tot het verrichten van enkele diensten); and
- An employment agreement (Arbeidsovereenkomst).
An employment agreement is an agreement pursuant to which a (natural) person, the employee, commits to perform work personally for and under the authority of the employer, during a certain period of time, for which the employee receives a salary.
The following three elements are considered to form an essential part of an employment agreement:
- the authoritative relationship between the employer and the employee;
- the labour is performed personally by the employee; and
- the salary of the employee is paid by the employer.
There are no specific requirements as to the form of an employment agreement; parties can verbally conclude an employment agreement or may choose to put the agreement in writing. Nevertheless agreements in writing are preferable as it provides ready evidence and proof of mutual legal positions. However, for certain provisions (e.g. non competition- and penalty clauses), it is mandatory to stipulate them in writing in order to be legally binding. The employment agreement can be entered into for a definite or an indefinite period of time.