Are your employment contracts giving you the protection you need? Are they up to speed with the law and modern times?

Here are our ‘Big 4’ reasons to check them now.

1. Are they legal? They can be illegal if they don’t specifically mention:

  • Work aboard.
  • Union agreements.
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures.
  • Continuous employment.
  • Data protection (consent needs to be given, and the employment contract is a good place to do this).
  • Equal opportunities (the consequences of not having a policy can be so severe that this is as good as a legal requirement).

2. Is your business protected? Here are the main areas of protection we often don’t see in contracts:

  • Benefits – these need to be crystal clear. For instance, bonuses should not be payable where notice has been given.
  • Insurance (such as health insurance) – the contract should go no further than the policy.
  • Mobility – you should be able to move your staff around.
  • Moonlighting.
  • Company property.
  • Vetting – employment should be subject to immigration clearance, references, probation, qualifications, and medicals if appropriate.

3. Are they up-to-date with the law? Your contracts should take at least these recent changes into account:

  • Flexible working – requests for changes in working hours now need to be considered in a completely different way.
  • Commission – currently payable during annual leave. If not, your documents at least need to be clear why.
  • TUPE – take advantage of the new rules on business transfers by introducing as much flexibility as possible.
  • Pensions – future-proof your contracts against auto-enrolment.
  • Retirement age – should be avoided.
  • Holidays – many contracts have not kept up with the statutory minimum.

4. Are they up to speed with your business? Watch out for the following:

  • Employer – still the same?
  • Staff more senior? – if so, consider extra safeguards against poaching customers and staff when they leave and for confidential information and inventions.
  • Social networking – we recommend social media and IT policies.

We are happy to review your documentation, and make recommendations at no charge. If this is of interest, please call one of our experienced solicitors now.

We can also draft all documentation for a fixed fee. Further details.

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Updates: For employers: Contract changes | Day to day HR support |
Tagged with: Contracts of employment |

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