A contract of employment records the agreement between an employer and employee about rights, responsibilities and duties.
Terms can often be discussed and agreed verbally as part of a job offer, but an employee is entitled to be given a written statement of their terms within two months of starting work.
Although there is a case for an employer having standard employment contract terms, each new contract should be tailored to the individual employee and their role rather than simply being reproduced.
While many of the clauses will be replicated in contracts across the organisation, it’s important that thought is put into every new contract in the context of the person taking on the role. This helps to reduce the risk of disputes in the future, including whether post-termination covenants are reasonable, and enforceable, or not.
For the same reason, employment contracts should be kept under review. As a business grows, develops and changes, terms should be amended (preferably with the employee’s agreement) to reflect any different circumstances. Similarly, as an employee’s role evolves, perhaps through promotion or flexible working arrangements, their contract should be modified to accurately set out their role, rights, responsibilities and duties.
About our Contract of Employment Solicitors
Our employment law solicitors work with businesses of all sizes throughout the UK, putting in place robust contracts, policies and procedures which apply from junior right through to senior staff. They advise on the essentials, making sure that the employer is legally compliant, taking a practical and commercial approach to terms which go beyond this. They suggest ways of safeguarding an employer’s position through clauses protecting, for example, an employer’s:
- confidential information
- intellectual property rights
- customer information.
They also make sure that everything is set out clearly and unambiguously, paving the way for a sound employer and employee relationship.
Our involvement needn’t stop once the contract has been signed. Our lawyers update agreements and other documents to reflect changing legislation. They also help clients through the process of varying contracts, which can present legal and practical challenges particularly when employees are not inclined to agree to different terms.