What’s in an Employment Contract?

November 30, 2018 

What's in an Employment Contract? Learn more with HELP.Under the Employment Act 2002, all new employees need to be provided with a written statement of terms and conditions, a document which is more commonly known as an employment contract. If you’ve ever tried to write up an employment contract for a new employee, you may have realised that you weren’t entirely sure what to include to make sure you’re properly protected if a disagreement occurs. 

Despite this document being an essential part of the hiring process, it’s not always obvious what these contracts need to include – so if you’re a new business start-up, an established business, or just new to the hiring and recruitment process, then read on as we answer the question “what’s in an employment contract?”

There are nine core pieces of information that must be included in an employment contract; along with four other categories that should either be included in the document or in another document that is referenced within the contract. The 9 essential categories are:

  • The identity of the involved parties 
  • The employee’s start date 
  • The date at which the employee’s continuous employment begins
  • Expected duration for temporary contracts or fixed term end date 
  • The agreed job title and the employee’s responsibilities 
  • Place of work
  • The agreed hours of work
  • The employee’s agreed salary
  • Holiday entitlement

As well as the above, the following information must be contained within the contract, or within a referenced secondary document such as a staff handbook:

  • Your company’s notice requirement should the employee choose to leave the company
  • The company’s sickness policy
  • Company pension information
  • Disciplinary and dismissal procedures
  • Data protection information and policies– something which is especially important since the introduction of the GDPR legislation

The ultimate aim of a contract of employment is to outline and confirm the rights and responsibilities of the employee and the employer. It lays out the expectations of both parties, ensures that everyone understands what is required of them and acts as a legally binding agreement between the two parties once the contents of the contract are agreed. An incomplete or vague contract may cause issues for your business should any disputes emerge and so it’s vital that any documents are thorough. A lacklustre document could also invalidate any breach of contract claims and could ultimately cause a legal headache while also costing you money. Similarly, if the contents of your written contract infringe on an employee’s employment rights, then you may find yourself in front of a tribunal.

This is where the services of the Honest Employment Law Practice come in. We can help you in the creation of your contracts and staff handbook, helping you get it right first time. Our legal support team is available to you 24/7, no matter where you are. There’s no long-term contract to worry about, just one simple monthly retainer that means you get great support services, clear and useful guides and legal advice on your terms. 

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