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Contracts of Employment

There are many different types of contracts of employment, the most controversial being zero hours contracts.  The Conservatives have been true to their word and have now  made exclusivity in zero hours contracts illegal.  If you use casual workers on such contracts then you need to be reviewing your paperwork as soon as possible…

But what about employment contracts in general, why do we have them?  Well first of all , it’s a statutory requirement and employers are liable to a fine of up to 4 weeks wages per employee if they do not have one.  All too often, I hear ‘once I get my contract…’,  or ‘my employees keep asking for a contract, I’d better give them one’ but it is a misconception that employment contracts only protect employees.  Even without a written contract, employees have relative certainty with regards to their employment status, pay, hours, and holidays.   

What employment contracts really do is provide employers with a much higher level of protection.  Without a written contract of employment, employers are going to struggle (or even find it impossible) to; recover money that an employee may owe them from the employee’s wages; remove them from the business during their notice period (either by making a payment in lieu of notice or putting them on gardening leave); or protect an employee from using confidential information, stealing clients and customers or going to work for a competitor after their employment has ended.

A well thought out and properly drafted contract of employment is a vital tool for all employers.  However, it doesn’t stop there.  One size never fits all, more senior employees will need different contracts to those more junior, and what about an employee that has risen through the ranks?  Contracts will need to be updated not only to reflect legislative changes, and changes in the employer’s business but also to reflect an evolving employment relationship.

If you want to learn more about the importance of contracts of employment, and how you can use them to protect your business register for my free webinar.