Contracts of employment, statement of terms, contracts - whatever you want to call them; if you employ staff, you need them.
No Kevin, we're not kidding you.
WHY DO I NEED CONTRACTS?
Employers are required by law to provide their employees with a contract of employment on or before the employee's first day of work.
Not only is it a legal requirement but you, as the employer, benefit greatly from having contracts in place. Your contracts govern the working relationship between you and your employee. It's a great point of reference for the terms of employment and it helps you set the boundaries of the working relationship.
WHEN SHOULD I GET A CONTRACT?
Your employee is entitled to receive their contract on or before their first day of work. We recommend that our clients sent a contract at the point of offering a job to someone. So it makes sense to have your contract drafted at the point where you start looking for someone to work for you.
HOW DO I GET A CONTRACT DRAFTED?
This depends on several things including your budget, your time and your experience in drafting legally binding documents. The best way to get a contract drafted is through a HR or employment law professional. This is because the professionals understand exactly what is required for your business and your role and can help you draft your contracts in such a way that you're not left exposed, legally speaking. We support our clients with contracts all the time and we usually get them done within 2 weeks or less.
You can, of course, opt for the cheap/free options of pinching a template from Google, but be warned! Not all those templates are up to date or even legally enforceable.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE INCLUDED IN A CONTRACT?
For an employee working within the UK, your contracts should include the following as a minimum (not necessarily in this order):
the employee and employer name
the start date of employment
the date the employee’s continuous employment started
the method, rate or scale in place for pay calculations
the intervals for payment
terms and conditions relating to working hours such as normal working hours
holiday entitlement and details relating to public holidays and holiday pay
sick pay and incapacity for work provisions
details of pensions and pension schemes
the duration of notice to be given to, or provided by, the employee to terminate employment
job title or description of the role
the expected duration of non-permanent work or the date upon which fixed-term work will end
the normal place of work or address details of the employer
details of any collective agreements which directly affect the terms and conditions of the individual
rules and procedures relating to disciplinary (or referring to a separate accessible document where these are located) and
identifying the person to whom to raise a grievance or appeal against a disciplinary decision.
the terms and conditions relating to work will extend to cover terms relating to normal hours of work, days of the week the worker will be required to work and whether these days/hours may vary
terms relating to other forms of paid leave such as family-friendly leave
details of other employee benefits, not just those relating to pay, such as benefits in kind or financial benefits
terms relating to probationary periods including those in relation to length and conditions
details of training provision and requirements.
I'VE ISSUED THE CONTRACT, NOW WHAT?
Once you have issued the contract you should remind your employee that you need a signed copy returned to you to confirm acceptance of the terms.
When you receive your signed copy back, you should store it on the employee's personnel file. This can be a paper based file within a locked and secure filing cabinet or an electronic file with security processes and limited access permissions.
If you need help with your contracts - get in touch with Lilac HR.