Employment contracts are easy to overlook in the excitement of setting up a small business.
But it is really important to get them in place as soon as possible to avoid employment disputes and tribunals, and this must be done within 2 months of an employee starting work.
The contract of employment is designed to give the employer and the employee certain rights and obligations. The most important terms of the contract include:
- How much the employee gets paid
- What the normal working hours are, and whether overtime is allowed and paid
- How many days paid holiday are included
- How sickness is treated
- The notice period required for either party to end the contract
Other important terms included the date you started work, the title of the job, where the job is based and the details of the company pension scheme.
It’s worth noting that, even though the contract of employment contains the most important terms relating to an employee’s express terms of employment, other documents might be needed to provide other important information relating to the employee’s engagement.
For example, a company handbook might include information about a company’s disciplinary procedure. And in the event of a dispute between the employer and the employee, the company should have a grievance procedure available.
Some contracts will also have a probationary period within them, where the employer may have some flexibility to end the contract more quickly than would normally be the case. Equally some contracts might specify an end date, although your statutory rights (relating to things like redundancy and dismissal) remain unaltered even if your contract is for a fixed term.
Accounts and Legal is uniquely placed to offer employment advice by our in-house solicitors alongside tax advice by our chartered accountants. So if you think your contracts and employment policies aren’t quite up to scratch, please drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help you come up with a plan to get things ship shape.