Top tips: Employment contracts

We recently held a Client Value Breakfast on employment contracts.

Based on the seminar’s discussions, we have subsequently put together our top points to keep at the forefront of your mind when putting together employment contracts:

  • A Statement of Particulars must be provided to the employee within their first 8 weeks of starting;
  • A contract must include the following: registered address, pay (how much, how often and when), hours of work, place of work, job title, holiday entitlement, sickness entitlement (even if SSP only), reference to a disciplinary / grievance procedure, pension, collective agreements, notice periods;
  • Having an employment contract in place means there is a mutuality of obligation between employer and employee;
  • Contractual obligations will usually supersede statutory (except where statutory entitlements are greater);
  • Include clauses that can provide the employer with flexibility, such as mobility / holiday limitations;
  • Handbooks can add value – they are non-contractual but provide a great easy reference guide for both managers and employees. They also encourage consistency and promote what it means to be an employee of the company;
  • IP – an IP clause can help protect your company’s intellectual property – the more specific the better;
  • PTRS – post termination restrictions help protect your customers and staff, whilst also preventing unfair competition from former employees, but make sure they are tailored to the threat the employee poses rather than taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach;
  • Employment status is a key topic in the news at the moment. Make sure contracts truly reflect the status of the worker;
  • Allowing company flexibility within the contract will be very helpful when it comes to terminating a contract. For example, a non-contractual disciplinary procedure, payment in lieu of notice clauses, probationary periods etc.