What should be in an Employment Contract?

Under the Employment Act 2002, all new employees need to be provided with a written statement of particulars, a document which is more commonly known as an employment contract. As of 1st April 2020, all employees and workers must receive a written statement of particulars on day one of their employment, this is a day one right.

If you’ve ever tried to write up an employment contract for a new employee, you may have realised that you weren’t entirely sure what to include to make sure you’re properly protected if a disagreement occurs.

Despite this document being an essential part of the hiring process, it’s not always obvious what these contracts need to include – so if you’re a new business start-up, an established business, or just new to the hiring and recruitment process, then read on as we answer the question “what’s in an employment contract?”

Employment Contract Important information:

There are nine core pieces of information that must be included in an employment contract; along with four other categories that should either be included in the document or in another document that is referenced within the contract. The 9 essential categories are:

  • The identity of the involved parties
  • The employee’s start date
  • The date at which the employee’s continuous employment begins
  • Expected duration for temporary contracts or fixed term end date
  • The agreed job title and the employee’s responsibilities
  • Place of work
  • The agreed hours of work
  • The employee’s agreed salary
  • Holiday entitlement

 

As well as the above, the following information must be contained within the contract, or within a referenced secondary document such as a staff handbook:

  • Your company’s notice requirement should the employee choose to leave the company
  • The company’s sickness policy
  • Company pension information
  • Disciplinary and dismissal procedures
  • Data protection information and policies– something which is especially important since the introduction of the GDPR legislation

 

Why are contracts of employment important?

The ultimate aim of a contract of employment is to outline and confirm the rights and responsibilities of the employee and the employer. It lays out the expectations of both parties, ensures that everyone understands what is required of them and acts as a legally binding agreement between the two parties once the contents of the contract are agreed.

An incomplete or vague contract may cause issues for your business should any disputes emerge and so it’s vital that any documents are thorough. A lacklustre document could also invalidate any breach of contract claims and could ultimately cause a legal headache while also costing you money. Similarly, if the contents of your written contract infringe on an employee’s employment rights, then you may find yourself in front of a tribunal.

 

So, what can Honest Employment Law Practice do to HELP?

Once you are on board, we will review your existing terms and conditions of employment that your staff work under.  If there are numerous discrepancies and we can produce a good business case to justify the recreation of these documents, then we will draft a new Employee Handbook for your company (the generic terms). In addition to this we will produce individual written statements of employment for every staff member (i.e. terms that are specific to the individual such as pay rates, start date etc). So, for instance if you had 30 employees you would receive 30x new handbooks and 60x written statements (a copy for you) all produced in folders for you to give to the individual employees. Our documentaion is written is such a way that the content is easy to understand and enforce with no legal jargon - just Plain English defining what you expect from your employees and vice-versa.

If, however, your existing terms are almost there we will not re-invent the wheel for you and may offer just amendments/updates and assist you with their implementation – free of charge.

Once you new contracts of employment are in place our work does not stop, we will ensure that they are kept up-to-date and reflect any new legislation changes from the Government.

If you would like more information, please contact us for a free consultation with one of our team.