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What needs to be included in an employment contract?

Employment Law

When taking on a new member of staff, or if an employee changes their role in the business, it’s important that their employment contract reflects this. It is advisable to review your contracts regularly to ensure they remain legally compliant.

How do I draft an employment contract correctly?

An experienced employment solicitor can draft or review a contract before your employee signs on the dotted line, thus ensuring that the terms you are offering are in your best interests and if they believe that any changes should be made or added.

They will check that the employment contract complies with current legal requirements alongside analysing specific terms relating to benefit packages, confidentiality clauses, intellectual property protections and termination conditions. Additionally, a solicitor will review any restrictive covenant – a clause in a contract or policy that restricts what a person can do for a certain period of time following the termination of their employment – to make sure they are likely to be enforced by the courts and therefore actually protect your business.

What information must be included in an employment contract?

Some parts of an employment contract must be given to employees at the outset of their employment. These include:

  • The name of the employer and employee
  • The date employment began
  • The date when continuous employment began
  • The scale, rate, and method of calculating pay
  • Intervals at which remuneration is paid
  • Terms and conditions relating to hours of work
  • Entitlement to holidays, including public holidays and holiday pay
  • The job title or a brief description of duties
  • The expected place of work

Further information is needed but this can be referred to without having to be included in the main statement of terms of employment.

What additional information should I include in employment contracts?

Updates to the law in April 2020 saw changes to who you need to provide the information to, what information needs to be given in a contract, and when it needs to be provided. Since the changes, employers also are required to provide a written statement to employees on or before their first day of employment.

The further information required as per the changes to the law are:

  • The specific hours and days of the week the employee is required to work, whether these can be amended, and the procedure for amending them.
  • Details of any other paid leave e.g., parental or family leave.
  • Details of further benefits.
  • Details of any probationary period.
  • Details of any training provided by the employer.

What should I do now and how can Hegarty Solicitors help me?

Getting your contracts and policies reviewed is a great place to start and doing it now can help to avoid any issues that may arise in the future. Failure to comply with legal requirements could lead to expensive and long employment tribunal proceedings.

Contact our employment law team today and get your employment contracts fully compliant and working in the best way for your business and your staff.

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