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Contracts and Policies

Contract of Employment

By law, all employees must be given written terms and conditions of employment within 2 months of commencing employment. There are various pieces of information which must be included in these terms and conditions for example place of work, hours and length of service. A tribunal may award up to 4 weeks’ wages if there are no such written terms in place.

Directors are also classed as employees and therefore employers are obliged by law to provide directors with a statement of certain terms of employment. A director’s employment contract is often called a director’s service agreement. There are various regulatory requirements for such agreements. Some of these depend on whether the company is private or listed. A written copy of the director’s service agreement must always be kept at the company’s registered office.

When parties enter onto a self employed/consultancy relationship it is also advisable to have a contract in place. The contract should include various points which suggest that the individual is genuinely self employed and this will minimise the risk of an individual trying to claim that they are in fact employed.

Staff Handbook

Employers are advised to provide certain core policies to guard against costly tribunal claims and ensure a happy workforce. Staff handbooks should set out guidelines and rules for employees, in order for employees to know what is expected of them.

We advise that handbooks are non-contractual so that employers are free to update and amend policies as required.

Depending on the type and size of the business, we would advise having polices covering the following:

Adoption; Bereavement; Career breaks; Equal opportunities; Anti-harassment and bullying; Capability; Compassionate Leave; Disciplinary; Dress code; Expenses; Data protection; Electronic information and communication systems; Employer’s code of conduct; Flexible working; Grievances; Health and safety; Home working; Maternity; No-smoking; Paternity; Parental leave; Sickness absence; Stress; Substance misuse; Time off for dependants; Time off for public duties; Redundancy; Retirement; Whistle blowing.

Document Review

We recommend that any employment documentation is reviewed regularly to ensure that it is legally compliant and relevant. We are happy to review documents for free of charge. If amendments are required we can give you a fixed fee quote at that time.

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