An Employment Contract is a binding legal agreement between Employer and Employee and contains the agreed terms as to the Employees employment. The Contract is there to ensure that both parties mutually understand what is expected throughout the employment.
Both parties’ full names and addresses should be specified.
Place of work
The address of the office the Employee will work should be specified. It can also specify any working from home requirements, along with any location that the Employee may be moved to in the future.
Be specific if any previous employment does not count towards the rights in this contract. The start date of the Employment should be expressly stated, along with any predetermined end date.
Salary payments dates should be specified.
Any holiday dates that the Employee is required to take (such as in between Christmas and New Year) should be included.
Job title and job description
Information regarding the Employees job title and their role, including main responsibilities and who they report to. This section will be largely similar to any job description on the advertisement.
Salary should be specified, along with any built-in salary increases. It should be ensured that any tax and national insurance deductions are considered.
A specified period can be included to reflect the ‘trial period’ the Employee may be required to undertake. This clause should include provision for the probationary period to be extended, if necessary, and should also specify details of how the probationary period comes to an end, e.g., only with written confirmation from the Employer.
Hours of work
Hours should be specified in the contract, and cannot exceed the 48-hour per week limit under the Working Time Regulations. Provision should be made for any additional hours the Employer may call upon the Employee to work, if the business requires.
Specify when the holiday year runs and how many days an Employee can take holiday in this year. There is a statutory minimum of 28 days, inclusive of bank holidays, that full-time Employees are entitled to. This clause can also confirm when the Employee will be rejected holiday, e.g., if their supervisor is also on annual leave that day.
This clause should specify the notice period the Employee must give to the Employer, and the notice period the Employer must give to the Employee. This clause should also specify when you can be dismissed without notice, for example as a result of Gross Misconduct.
These clauses are usually ‘non-compete’ clauses or ‘non-soliciting’ clauses. They can specify that an Employee cannot work for a particular competitor for a certain amount of time after termination of employment, or cannot solicit any former or current Employees to another business. These clauses should always remain reasonable, and what is reasonable will depend largely on the industry.
Policies such as sickness policies, grievance policies and disciplinary policies should all be outlined, or at least confirmed as to where the Employee can obtain a copy of such policies.
Confidentiality and severability clauses
These clauses are important and will confirm that the Employee must keep confidential any information regarding the Employer and the Company whilst employed and at any time thereafter. This clause should confirm that where an Employee must make a ‘protected disclosure’ (such as whistleblowing) that this will be allowed.
These types of clauses also confirm that if any clause, subclause, paragraph or schedule in the Contract is invalid then this does not affect the validity of the remainder of the Contract.
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