The importance of a good job description

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The importance of a good job description

A contract of employment is the same as a job description, right?  Wrong.  There are distinct differences between the two.  In fact, a good job description should form the heart of an employment contract.  Not only because it serves as a solid foundation for the interview and employment process, but also because it protects your business and your employees.

Let us explain a little more…

Why business owners should always create a job description

  • Recruitment

Let’s rewind back to the very start of the recruitment process.

A job description should form the foundation of your job advertisements, and consequently your interview process.

It is vital in determining comparable industry salaries.  It also helps ensure that the new employee you recruit has maximum experience, skills and is the very best possible candidate in relation to the salary you are prepared to pay.


  • Day to day management

Without a job description it is very difficult to side step the ‘it’s not my job’ argument, and you may find staff refusing to carry out certain responsibilities.  This often leads to confusion in the workplace, a demotivated team, and reduced output.


  • Probation and appraisals

Once your new employee has begun work there will be a probationary period.  During which time your new employee’s performance will be scrutinised.  Beyond this, as a good employer you’ll also plan to assess your employee’s performance on a regular basis through appraisals, particularly if commission and bonuses are involved.

A job description becomes the basis for this review process.  Clearly establishing goals, and setting out what is expected.  Without it how will you measure success?


  • If problems arise

A job description has the power to protect your business and your employees.  As a legal document it can be used in a dispute, if an employee files an unfair dismissal or discrimination claim against the business.


Aidan Squire, employment law specialist at TM Law says:

Often business owners will invest in a professional contract of employment.  But, without expert advice they still miss the key piece of the puzzle.  A good job description to accompany it. 

The contract draftsman who created their contract of employment will not always draw attention to the missing job description, and this leaves many business owners exposed.

It’s true a firm’s contract of employment covers important matters like; when will the contract commence?  Rates of pay, holiday entitlements and a disciplinary code to deal with any employee failures.  But, without an appropriate job description key details are missing.  Like, the primary functions of the job, how tasks should be carried out, the skills needed to perform the job and how the position may change in the future.  Without it misunderstanding and dispute can often arise.”

Creating a job description – the best practice approach

At TM Law we advise the Essex based businesses we help to have a contract of employment and job description drawn up in unison, by a specialist HR law practice such as our own.

This is because a careful and conscientious draftsman will not simply examine which contract clauses are relevant to the employee, but also dedicate the same care and attention to the job description.  Proactively considering the tasks and requirements expected from the new employee, in the context of the new role, and enabling proper appraisal throughout the term of the contract.

This final point can have incredibly positive impact on the business and on staff motivation and retention.  Proper appraisal means that failures by an employee can be monitored.  But it also provides your new employee with clarity regarding required obligations and stimulates and motivates focus on the role.

Vital for the small and medium businesses we work with who rely on hiring motivated and skilled employees dedicated to their jobs and keen to grow with the business.




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About TM Law – Specialist Employment Law Solicitor

Based in Hockley, Essex, TM Law is a small and dedicated solicitors.  With many years’ experience, helping business owners and local individuals with matters of personal injury, compromise agreements, employment disputes, debt collection, commercial disputes and much more.

As a specialist employment law solicitor, TM Laws’ knowledge of the rights and obligations of both employee and employer is second to none, and their approach is proven to achieve the best results for minimum outlay.

For a personal service, practical advice and quick resolution contact us today.  We offer a fair, fixed fee service and we’re always happy to help.

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