If you are a new business or merely designing a new employment contract there are certain things that you must consider when producing your template. Often it is worth retaining an employment solicitor to check your template before issuing it to an employee.
Our Employment Law team at our Salisbury, Fordingbridge, Andover and Amesbury offices can help you negotiate a tight employment contract. We represent employers throughout Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire – and further afield.
Getting the Right Employment Contracts
Here are some of the basic points, which should be included and considered when designing your employment contract.
- Define the basic employment terms – create a section at the forefront of the contract, which defines an employee’s working arrangements. For example show their pay, annual leave entitlement and working hours. This information can then be amended as per the employee.
- Specify any probationary and notice period requirements – if the job is only to be granted on a permanent basis after satisfactory performance for 3 months then state this. Also be clear as to how much notice the employee must provide, both within and out of the probationary period. For example it may be reasonable to request the employee to give 1 weeks notice during the probationary period and 4 weeks notice when permanently employed.
- Consider the availability of flexible working – does the employee have the option of flexible working? If so, is this restricted to certain hours? For example an employee may be able to work flexibly as long as he/she is in the office between 10am – 4pm. This type of arrangement is extremely popular with employees that have children or other such commitments. Flexible working also helps prevent employee absence.
- Highlight any specific requirements – it is important to make an employee aware if a requirement of their job role is contractual or not. A good example of this is having access to a car for travel. If this is a contractual requirement then you should state this on the contract itself.
- Locations and departments – is your employee going to remain in one department and location throughout the duration of his/her contract? If the role is permanent do you foresee that the employee may have to relocate in line with business development? In order to cover such a requirement a provision can be put within the contract to inform the employee that they may be required to relocate or take on different duties in the future as part of their job role.
- Non-contractual agreements – state if there are any non-contractual agreements particular to the employee. These agreements are those such as performance related bonuses and commission. These are occurrences, which either party cannot expect nor claim for under the contract.
- Generic terms – it is important to design a comprehensive set of employment terms and conditions generic to every contract. This is the area, which you should seek legal advice when drafting. These terms must be designed in line with your business’s specific needs. For example how important is it that you have a confidentiality clause within the contract and how far-reaching does this need to be? You should ensure that none of the terms are discriminatory or unfair; an employment law solicitor will help confirm this.Make use of resources such as ACAS online to ensure that you are up to date with recent employment law changes; these can then be reflected in your template contract.
Employment law is complex. Whether you are an employer or employee, you need to know your legal position. If you’re in any doubt with regard to employment law documents, ensure you take legal advice from a specialist employment solicitor.