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Contracts of Employment: Getting it right

In my last Employment Law blog, I discussed recruitment issues. Once you have found the right candidate and they’ve accepted your job offer, you will need to establish clearly the terms and conditions upon which they will be working for you.

It is the law that you must offer new employees written details of the main terms and conditions of employment within two months of starting. These details include: the identity of the parties; the start date and date of continuous employment; job title; place of work; hours of work; pay details and holiday entitlement. This information must be provided within one single document. The employee may be subject to a probation period, but you will still need to provide a contract. You can make certain items like company sick pay or a longer notice period conditional on successful completion of the probation period. Other information can be included too, of course, such as applicable notice period; sickness absence provisions; pensions; disciplinary and grievance rules and procedures (although these should always be expressed as non-contractual). Too much information in one document, e.g. the contract itself, can make it unwieldy. If you would like to add more information, it is best to have a staff handbook as well, to be read alongside the contract. There should be separate sections within the handbook for contractual and non-contractual policies.

It is vital that you get your employment documentation correct, as mistakes can be costly to rectify. Also, be wary of using old templates as their provisions may not now be legally compliant, as employment legislation changes quite frequently.

Do get in touch with Robin William at Dawson Hart on 01825 762281 if you’d like to know more.