Within two months of the beginning of an employee’s employment, you are legally obligated to provide them with a written contract. Part-time and full-time workers have the same rights: they are entitled to hourly pay, bank holidays, sick leave, vacation pay, and opportunities for advancement.
Whenever an employee accepts an offer of employment, regardless of whether it is documented or not, a contract exists. Employers and employees should have a written contract that contains very specific information to prevent confusion. This includes terms such as protected disclosure.
However, you should have your own contract examined by a solicitor prior to distributing it to employees to ensure that the clauses are valid and legal, especially since the law changes so frequently. If you decide to use these, you should have them vetted by a lawyer or HR advisor. Many websites provide downloadable contract templates for a fee.
A sample employment contract can be found below, which can be used as a guide:
The Party Names – The full details of the business, and the employee’s full name and address.
Employment Start Date – An employee’s starting date (or starting date). Additionally, the contract should state the employee’s starting date of continuous service, whether it came earlier or later than the contract.
Employee’s Job Title And Description – Title and description as per the advertised position, as amended prior to the contract signing. Also included here should be a clause allowing the employee to be expected to do other reasonable work within their role. This will allow for flexibility.
Workplace – Generally, contracts should specify where the work should be done, but in addition should allow for a certain amount of flexibility.
Expected Working Hours – The Working Time Regulations require employees to work a maximum of 48 hours per week (unless they have opted out). Specify the employee’s weekly hours and include a clause allowing for him or her to work more hours if requested if needed by the employer.
Probationary Period – Most employers provide new employees with a trial period where they give them the option to quit or leave the company with a week’s notice. A contract can also specify an extension of the trial period. During the probationary period, the contract should state how long the notice period will be.
Salary – The employee’s full salary before tax should be stated here. It also should indicate the pay dates.
Deductions – Under this section, employers are allowed to make deductions from an employee’s salary under all circumstances. An employee’s pay could be deducted without this clause in place.
Expenses – If an employee is entitled to expenses, e.g. travel for business purposes, this section should outline exactly what expenses will be covered. A clause should always be included stating that proof of payment is required to claim expenses.
Annual Leave – An employee’s holiday entitlement should be specified in this section (pro-rata if the employee is part-time) on top of the types of holidays taken. There should be clarity as to when a holiday year starts and whether there is an option to roll over holidays to the following year or an option to pay for unused holiday time.
These are some of the most important areas to include in an employee contract, do you have any other tips that should be included? Please add them to the comments below.