Protecting You, and Your Business
Knowing that your Contracts of Employment are up to date and legally compliant is vitally important to you if you are a company director, business owner, manager of a team, or part of a larger HR team. SVC Human Resources can help you.
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Spending the next few minutes reading the following may save you a lot of time, expense and frustration.
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About Contracts of Employment
This is important! As an employer the law states you must set out certain terms and conditions to your workers and any employee(s). The law that covers this is section 1 of Employment Rights Act 1996.
Until recent changes to this legislation, employers were only obliged to provide employees with a written statement of particulars, or if preferred a Contract of Employment. Now the legal position has changed and both employees and those classified as workers are entitled to receive a contract.
A contract is an agreement, or set of promises, between two parties which is designed to be legally enforceable and sets out the rules to observe for:
- you the employer, and
- your worker or employee(s).
The Employment Rights Act states:
"where an employee begins employment with an employer, the employer shall give to the employee a Written Statement of Particulars of employment".
Are You Confused?
Don't worry, there is often confusion between the Contract of Employment, and a Written Statement of Particulars.
The Written Statement of Particulars
This is the absolute minimum required by law. Furthermore, any worker or employee must receive this on or before their first day of work. As an employer it is important for you to understand this timing. If your employee does not receive their written statement on or before they commence work with you they could:
- make a claim at an employment tribunal.
- be awarded between 2 and 4 weeks’ pay as compensation.
Your brand and reputation could suffer.
The written statement may consist of more than one document. The main document (also known as a ‘principal statement’) can be issued separately to other documents that form the wider written statement.
The principal statement is a day one right, whilst the other elements which can be issued separately can be provided in a later time-frame.
The Principal Statement
The main document or Principal Statement must contain the following information:
The Principal Statement must also contain the following information:
Other Essential Details
As well as the principal statement above, a written statement must also provide the employee with the following information:
This information can be provided in a supplementary statement separate to the principal statement. Information relating to terms such as pension arrangements, collective agreements, disciplinary and grievance and other training entitlement can be provided at a later date, but must be within 2 months of the start date. Where there are no terms to be entered under any of these headings then this fact should be stated.
This may appear like a lot of information, but this is the minimum required by law.
The Contract of Employment
A contract of employment is a more comprehensive document. This will contain extra terms to those required by statute. It is much broader than the express terms in a written statement document. For example, it includes some 'implied' terms.
Implied terms are not 'expressly or explicitly' stated, more taken for granted. This is because they are generally obvious to both parties. One important implied term is the duty of mutual trust and confidence which is implied in every employment relationship.
Protecting You the Employer
As an employer, you use your contract of employment to set out the full terms of employment. This means that you provide important details often covering areas such as:
A comprehensive employment contract also provides protection for you the employer. It usually sets out (for example):
Avoid Employment Tribunals
ACAS states one of the main causes of employment tribunals is simple misunderstanding. So it is important to have your employment contract produced by qualified experts. For example, SVC's HR division set out the terms of employment specific to each client. To do this we meet and take the time to understand you and your business.
It is also important to have your employment contract reviewed to make sure that it:
Remember We Can Help You
SVC Human Resources can provide you with a FREE REVIEW with a qualified HR EXPERT. This can be about:
Also see information on What's in a Staff Handbook
The information contained in this web page is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included on this web page without seeking professional, legal or other specialist advice by qualified practitioners. If you have a specific human resources issue, please contact SVC Human Resources team for individual advice on your particular circumstances.