Contracts of employment

As an employer, you need the right contracts of employment as the foundation for consistency and clarity in your relations with your employees and for legal compliance.

In any employment tribunal dispute, the panel will inevitably look at your contract of employment with the complainant and make a judgment on it’s clarity, reasonableness and whether you and the employee have complied with it as it may relate to the dispute.

Many employers believe that, as with other contracts, the longer the contract is and more favourable it is to them, this is the best way to protect their interests. however, this can backfire with employment contracts since the Tribunal or court will often strike out or vary any clauses which are considered excessive and unfair on the employee.

For some small businesses, a standardised contract of employment will suffice for all staff, but in other cases, with different types of staff, different contracts are advisable. This can relate to :-

  • part-time employees
  • senior executives
  • fixed term contracts of employment
  • consultant agreements (in the sense of ensuring these individuals are not considered employees)
  • casual workers

In addition to the obvious clauses in your contracts of employment such as job description, salary and hours, thought ought to be given to many optional clauses, examples of which may include :-

  • Pensions
  • Sickness Absence
  • Grievance and Disciplinary Procedure
  • Notice of Termination
  • Probationary Period
  • Garden Leave
  • Short Time Working/Temporary Lay-Off
  • Bonus Schemes/Commission Arrangements
  • Expenses
  • Internet use policy
  • Bribery Act compliance
  • Employers’ Property
  • Recovery of Training Fees
  • Confidentiality
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Intellectual Property
  • Use of car or other benefits

We can help your business to have the right contracts from the start and to make sure they are updated to comply with employment law changes and in a way which is accepted by your staff.

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