What A Well Drafted Employment Contract Should Contain

If you are starting up a new business or are just drawing up a new employment contract then there are many things that you should consider. Employment law is ever-changing and so you should ask an employment solicitor to check your contract template before you give it to an employee.

This article looks at the basic points, which should be included and considered when designing your employment contract.

1. Define the basic employment terms – create a section at the forefront of the contract, which defines an employee’s working arrangements. For example, include their pay, annual leave entitlement and working hours. This information can then be amended as per the employee.

2. Specify any probationary and notice period requirements – if the job is only to be granted on a permanent basis after satisfactory performance for 3 months then state this. Also be clear as to how much notice the employee must provide, both within and out of the probationary period. For example it may be reasonable to request the employee to give 1 weeks notice during the probationary period and 4 weeks notice when permanently employed.

3. Consider the availability of flexible working – is the employee going to have the option of flexible working? If so, is this restricted to certain hours? For example an employee may be able to work flexibly as long as he/she is in the office between 10am – 4pm. This type of arrangement is extremely popular with employees that have children or other such commitments. Flexible working also helps prevent employee absence.

4. Highlight any specific requirements – it is important to make an employee aware if a requirement of their job role is contractual or not. A good example of this is having access to a car for travel. If this is a contractual requirement then you should state this on the contract itself.

5. Locations and departments – is your employee going to remain in one department and location throughout the duration of his/her contract? If the role is permanent do you foresee that the employee may have to relocate in line with business development? In order to cover such a requirement a provision can be put within the contract to inform the employee that they may be required to relocate or take on different duties in the future as part of their job role.

6. Non-contractual agreements – state if there are any non-contractual agreements particular to the employee. These agreements are those such as performance related bonuses and commission. These are circumstances that neither party can expect or claim for as part of the contract.

7. Generic terms – it is important that you draw up a set of employment terms and conditions that are comprehensive and will cover every contract. This is the area, which you should seek legal advice when drafting. These terms must be designed in line with your business’s specific needs. For, example, consider how important it is for you to include a confidentiality clause in the contract and how detailed this needs to be? You should ensure that none of the terms are discriminatory or unfair; an employment law solicitor will help confirm this. Use online resources such as ACAS to keep yourself informed of recent employment law changes; these can then be reflected in your template contract.

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