Employment contracts

Ensure your employment contracts are compliant

All employees have employment contracts with their employer. A contract is an agreement that sets out an employee’s:

  • Employment conditions
  • Rights
  • Responsibilities
  • Duties

Employment Contracts

Employment contract

As soon as someone accepts a job offer, they have a contract with their employer, and as a result are bound by a contract until it ends.

An employment contract ends when an employer or employee gives notice or when the employer dismisses the employee. Another reason an employment contract ends is if the employer changes the terms. This would in most cases be in agreement between the employee and employer.

You do not need an employment contract in writing, but it makes absolute sense to do so.  As a result your employees will fully understand the terms of their employment and your expectations of them.

Terms and conditions of employment contracts

The legal parts of a contract are the ‘terms’. As an employer you should make it clear which parts of a contract are legally binding.

Contract terms can be:

  • In a written contract
  • Verbally agreed
  • In an employee handbook
  • On a company notice board
  • In an offer letter from the employer
  • Required by law
  • In collective agreements

Employment Contracts

Implied terms

If there’s nothing clearly agreed between you and your employee in the employee contract about a particular issue, it may be covered by an implied term – for example:

  • Employees do not steal from their employer
  • Employers provide a safe and secure working environment for employees
  • The employer meets legal requirements in regards to minimum holiday and maximum hours
  • Something necessary to do the job like a driver having a valid licence
  • The employer continues processes as they have been done over a long time. An example is paying a Christmas bonus

Written statement of employment particulars

You must give your employees a ‘written statement of employment particulars’ if their employment contract lasts at least a month or more. This isn’t an employment contract but will include the main conditions of employment. You must provide the written statement within 2 months of starting the employment.

A failure to provide a written statement can incur fines at employment tribunal.

If your employee is going to work abroad for more than a month during their first 2 months’ of employment, you must give them the written statement before they leave. A written statement can be made up of more than one document. This would be the case if the employer gives employees different sections of their statement at different times.

Employee contract template

Principal statement

If the employer gives employees different sections of their statement at different times the documents (called the ‘principal statement’) must include at least:

  • The business name
  • The name of the employee
  • The job title or a description of work
  • Start date
  • Employee payments
  • Hours of work
  • Work schedules
  • Holiday entitlement
  • The location(s) of where the employee works
  • If relocation is necessary

Sections of the employment contract

As well as the principal statement, a written statement must also contain information about:

  • How long a temporary job is expected to last
  • The end date of a fixed-term contract
  • Notice periods
  • Collective agreements
  • Pensions
  • Who to go to with a grievance
  • How the company handles complaints about grievances
  • How employees can complain about/appeal a disciplinary or dismissal decision

Exclusions from the employment contract

The employer can exclude the below sections in the written statement. However, the written statement must say where this information can be found:

As a part of our services, we help you to devise and implement an employment contract that clearly sets out the terms of employment for your employees.

HR Management services

How the HR consultants of PeoplePointHR help

As part of our HR documentation service we will:

  • Review your current employment contracts (if any)
  • Review any associated HR Policies in line with current employment legislation and business operational requirements
  • Provide you with guidance on how to update your employment contracts

We work closely with you to ensure that the employment contracts you provide to your employees mirror the job role and duties involved.

Please don’t hesitate to contact PeoplePointHR today for advice on 0330 555 2555.