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Employment Contracts

Employment Contracts

When you recruit an employee, the start of their employment can be a crucial time for you. You naturally want to get them up and running on your systems and processes so that they can support your business as soon as possible.

Whilst it can be easy to overlook the raft of legislation that sets out what you need to do when recruiting an employee, it is essential that you follow a correct procedure, not only to set the right impression about your business to that employee, but also to avoid potential claims in the future.

For instance, since 6 April 2020, employees have been entitled to receive a contract of employment on or before their first date of employment. If you do not comply with this, then there can be consequences, including:-

 

  • Paying the employee the equivalent of an additional two weeks' salary if they subsequently bring a successful claim against you; or
  • Paying the employee the equivalent of an additional four weeks' salary if the employment tribunal directs you to do so.

 

Therefore, most businesses prefer to avoid this risk by getting everything in order before the employee starts work with them. Moreover, a contract of employment provides you with certainty regarding an employee's terms and conditions of employment should any disputes arise during the course of employment.

We can draft an employment contract for your employees which is compliant, as well as advise you on current employment legislation. Some of the standard clauses that can appear in a contract include:-

 

  • The date of the contract and the date when the employee's contract is due to begin;
  • The name of the employer and the employee;
  • The employee's job title and a job description or job specification;
  • Where the job is based (i.e. in an office, from the employee's home, a mix of both or working as and where they are directed to);
  • Whether the job is full-time, part-time, fixed term or operates on a zero hours basis;
  • The days and hours that the employee will be expected to work;
  • The rate of pay for the work performed;
  • The employee's entitlement to take annual leave;
  • Details of any probationary period that the employment will be subject to;
  • Arrangements relating to the employee's pension;
  • The employee's notice period if their job is coming to an end;
  • Any benefits that they might be entitled to under the contract (i.e. a company car, permanent health insurance, shares, etc.);
  • Any qualifications that the employee will need to retain to continue to be able to perform the job.

 

Additionally, we can assist you with drafting a staff handbook to compliment your working practices. These handbooks should ideally contain policies that apply to everyday working practices, addressing matters such as:-

 

  • A grievance procedure;
  • Disciplinary processes;
  • How discrimination and harassment will be addressed in the workplace;
  • What happens if a member of staff wishes to take a form of family leave (i.e. maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave. shared parental leave, parental bereavement leave, compassionate leave, etc.);
  • A flexible working policy;
  • Your business's position on the use of mobile telephones and social media at work;
  • A policy governing the acceptable use of information technology and the acceptable use and content of communications;
  • Any dress code that you wish to apply within your business;
  • A data protection policy;
  • A privacy notice;
  • A sickness absence policy;
  • A capability procedure;
  • Sector specific policies (for example, if you operate a regulated business and need to ensure that certain internal reporting procedures are maintained);
  • A whistleblowing policy.