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Employment contract, work contract and copyright contract – learn the most important differences!

We're bringing you more about the differences between work contracts, employment contracts and copyright contracts and in which cases they are concluded.

Do you know the difference between a work contract and an employment contract? Do you know what a copyright contract is? The subject of frequent questions and dilemmas of the employer is precisely the search for an answer to the question whether it is possible to enter into an employment contract with a natural person for the execution of a job, or whether an employment contract must be concluded for that job. In order to remove this doubt more easily and conclude the appropriate legal act, it is necessary to take into account the specifics and characteristics of these two types of contracts. In the rest of the article, we bring you more about the differences between work contracts, employment contracts and copyright contracts and in which cases they are concluded.

Contract of employment

It is very likely that everyone will conclude at least one employment contract in their life, and that is precisely why it is important to know its forms and necessary content, as well as to be able to distinguish it from other contracts with an element of work. An employment contract has several characteristics that make it different from other contracts such as work contracts, orders or service contracts, but also characteristics that make it similar to these same contracts. As previously mentioned, the employment contract is concluded between the employer and the employee, which actually makes it a bilateral contract because without one of these parties, the contract cannot be concluded. The employment contract was concluded at the moment when the contracting parties agreed on the essential components of the contract. The essential ingredients of an employment contract are work and salary.

An employment contract establishes an employment relationship - for an indefinite or fixed period of time. Each of those two forms of contract can be full-time or part-time. The employment contract is concluded in writing.

If you have not signed an employment contract with your employer, before you start working, he is obliged to give you a written confirmation of the concluded contract. If he does not issue you this certificate or does not conclude a written employment contract with you within the prescribed period, it is considered that the employer has concluded an employment contract for an indefinite period.

According to the Labor Act, the employer must deliver a copy of the application for compulsory health and pension insurance to you within eight days of the deadline for applying for compulsory insurance.

Every employment contract must contain provisions on:

  • parties and their place of residence, i.e. headquarters
  • place of work, and if there is no permanent or main place of work, a note that the work is performed in different places
  • the name, nature or type of work for which the worker is employed or a short list or job description
  • the day of the start of work
  • the expected duration of the contract in the case of a fixed-term employment contract
  • the duration of paid annual leave to which the worker is entitled, that is, the method of determining the duration of that leave
  • notice periods that must be adhered to by the employee, that is, the employer
  • the basic salary, salary supplements and periods of income payment to which the worker is entitled
  • for the duration of a regular working day or week.

See how long the minimum notice period is in case of termination of the employment contract!

Service contract

An employment contract is a contract of civil, mandatory law regulated by the provisions of the Law on Obligatory Relations, unlike employment contracts and employment relationships, which are regulated by the Labor Law. As stated earlier, a work contract is defined as a contract in which the contractor undertakes to perform a certain work, such as the production or repair of something, the execution of some kind of physical or mental work, and the like, and the client undertakes to pay him a fee for this. In this sense, the essential items of the work contract are work and remuneration, and the subjects of the contract are the client and the contractor.

The fundamental characteristic of the work contract is the independence of the contractor, which means that the contractor works for his own account and at his own risk and, as a rule, determines when, where and how he will work.

For work under a work contract, it does not matter whether that person is employed, unemployed or retired, but that he performs work (work) that has the characteristics of a work contract. It should be emphasized that the employment contract is not a substitute for a fixed-term employment contract. An employment contract can exceptionally be concluded for a certain period of time, to establish an employment relationship whose termination is determined in advance by a deadline, the execution of a certain job or the occurrence of a certain event. The work contract is not concluded for a certain period of time, but for the creation of a work or the result of work.

Copyright agreement

Income can also be earned on the basis of a copyright contract or a contract on a work of authorship, which is regulated by the Law on Copyright and Related Rights. An author's work is an original intellectual creation created by the author, characterized by originality, creativity and subjectivity. A work is considered subjectively original if the author does not imitate another work known to him.

In the Law, the following are specifically mentioned as works of authorship:

  • linguistic works (written works, spoken works, computer programs)
  • musical works, with or without words
  • dramatic and dramatic-musical works
  • choreographic and pantomime works
  • works of fine art
  • works of architecture
  • works of applied arts and industrial design
  • photographic works and works produced by a process similar to photography
  • audiovisual works
  • cartographic works
  • representations of a scientific or technical nature such as drawings, sketch plans, tables, etc.

The author of the work is the natural person who created the author's work. The author owns the copyright on his author's work by the very act of creating the author's work. Copyright includes moral rights of the author, property rights of the author and other rights of the author. Copyright protects the author's personal and spiritual ties to his author's work (author's moral rights), the author's property interests in regard to his author's work (author's property rights) and other interests of the author in regard to his author's work (author's other rights).


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