The contract of employment is the agreement with your employees as to their employment rights, responsibilities and duties.
At the minimum you must provide a written statement of the main employment terms within two months of starting work. This must include:
- your and your employee’s name
- job title and a description of what the job involves
- the date that employment began
- how much and when the employee will be paid
- hours of work
- holiday entitlement
- where the employee will be working
- sick pay arrangements
- what notice (subject to the statutory minimum rights) either of you must give to end the contract
- details of the disciplinary and grievance procedures you operate
- details any collective agreements that affect the employee’s terms or conditions
- details of any pension schemes available to the employee.
The bare minimum may not cover all relevant issues. For example you may well need restrictions which limit the employee’s ability to work in the same line of business or locality when their employment ends. As such restrictions are not enforceable unless they are reasonable and go no further than is necessary to protect your legitimate interests it is important that these are tailor made to meet your exact needs.
Often it will help to have Policies and Procedures in addition to the minimum contract terms. For example a clear IT Policy can prevent disputes later about what is and is not allowed and about whether any disciplinary action for computer misuse is justified.
If you are a larger employer then a Staff Handbook can be a good idea.
Failure to provide clear written terms will encourage disputes, put you at a disadvantage at the Employment Tribunal and can cost you up to 4 weeks’ additional pay if a Claim against you succeeds.
Employment documents need careful drafting. Contact Rees Page for advice about how we can help you.