Help with Employment Contracts
A Contract always exists between an employee and employer, even if there is nothing in writing.
Even if it is just a verbal agreement a contract still exists. An employment contract gives both parties certain rights and obligations.
Providing a written employment contract that outlines the full terms and conditions of employment protects employers from potential disputes, claims, and tribunals. We also recommend that any contracts between employers and employees are signed by both parties. This shows that both the employer and employee have read and understood the conditions of employment. Employers should always make sure that their employees understand which parts of their contract are legally binding.
Contract terms can include:
• Hours of work
• Holidays and holiday pay
• Sick pay
• Notice period
• Probation period
• Restrictive covenants
• Bonus scheme
Implied terms may have been missed in a written employment contract or handbook but would be considered by a court / tribunal to have been intended to be added to the contract. Examples of implied terms for an employee could be a willingness to work, not stealing from the company or acting in good faith. Common implied terms for employers could be paying wages, reimbursing expenses, and treating employees with trust and confidence. You can agree whatever terms you want but you cannot agree to terms that give you fewer rights than you have under law. Some implied terms can be implied by custom and practice.
Under the Employment Rights Act of 1996 there are a number of statutory minimum requirements that an employer must include in their written statements within 2 months of starting work. These include:
• Identifying who the employer and employee are
• A start date of employment
• The employee’s job title
• Place of work
• Hours of work
• How much and when the employee will be paid
• Holiday entitlements
Additionally, information on the following should be added to the statement or be available elsewhere including:
• Sickness procedures & Policies
• Information relating to pensions and grievances
• Disciplinary rules
• Health & Safety Policy
• Anti-discrimination Policy & Anti-harassment Policy
• Maternity / Paternity / Adoption Policy
• Leave / Holiday / Time off for Dependants
• Communication / IT / Social Media Policy
• Data Protection / GDPR Policy
• Dress code Policy
• Expenses / Perks / Benefits Policy
• Training and Development
• Bribery Act
• Equal Opportunity Policy
• Flexible & Home Working Policy
Jarmans team of experienced employment solicitors are here to guide you through every step of the contract process. Contact our dedicated department to discuss your employment law needs.
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