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Why do employees need to have a contract of employment?

It is the law. All employees who work for your business must receive, no later than 2 months after the start date of their employment with you, a written statement outlining key points of their employment.

This written statement should include details such as:

  • the names of the employer and employee
  • the date employment began
  • the job title and duties of the job
  • the place of work
  • the rate and frequency of pay, hours, holidays, sickness pay and pension scheme/s 
  • notice details
  • reference to any incorporated collective agreements
  • details of any disciplinary and grievance procedures

Whilst full employment contracts do not legally have to be in writing, we strongly advise you to use written employment contracts to protect both the employer and employee and they help avoid misunderstandings over the terms in the future.

A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee and is the basis of the employment relationship. A contract 'starts' as soon as an offer of employment is accepted. Starting work proves that you accept the terms and conditions offered by the employer.

How we can help

Shaw Gibbs can provide you with employment contract templates and advise you on which terms you should have in which contracts. We can also guide you through the process of varying an existing contract of employment. If you don’t have job descriptions for the roles in your business, our HR team can create very useful and performance focused job descriptions/role profiles for you. 

For a free consultation on employment contracts please contact Kerry Whitfield via email or phone 01865 292260.

Questions our clients often ask us

Can I change an employee’s contract of employment?

The employer can only vary the contract of employment with the employee’s agreement. You cannot unilaterally force changes in a contract upon an employee. If you were to impose a variation in their contract, you would potentially be in breach of contract which could result in hefty legal fees and compensation to the employee if the employee went to an employment tribunal.

What can I do if an employee refuses to accept a change in their contract of employment?

Ultimately, the employer can dismiss the employee for refusing to accept the change but this really is a last resort. Hopefully through clear communication and consultation, agreement can be reached. Employers must always go through proper consultation over any changes in contracts of employment.

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Contact Us

For a free consultation on employment contracts please contact Kerry Whitfield via email or phone 01865 292260.

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