What should be in your firm’s contract of employment? That’s a question we’re asked a lot at our Hockley based solicitors. Of course, there are statutory obligatory terms, as well as non-obligatory contract terms. But, we also go a step further for the businesses owners we advise. Instead of simply viewing the Contract of Employment in straight forward contractual terms we also suggest that firms consider using additional contract terms to advance the business.
Additional Contract Terms: Some Examples…
So, in addition to the basic statutory obligatory terms, and non-obligatory contract terms, which additional contract terms can help you advance your business?
- #1 Dress Code –
Employers are within their rights to tell their employees to abide by a certain dress code at work. Whatever code is introduced needs to be consistent and avoid discrimination. You’ll need to be able to justify why it is there. Perhaps it is because of health and safety reasons. Or because your firm needs to project a certain image to the public it serves.
- #2 Layoff and Short Time Working –
In a changing financial and economic climate, it is useful to ensure that your business has flexibility when workload slackens. Enabling you to avoid redundancies by not having to get involved in the time and expense of such decisions.
- #3 Training –
Your work force has the potential to be your greatest asset. That’s why a clause which allows your firm to insist on employees increasing their skills through training courses etc is useful. At the same time, where your business has paid for this training, you may also seek ways to ensure that the outlay can be reclaimed. Say, if the employee does not continue to work for the business once he/she obtains that qualification or increase in skill set.
- #4 Retirement –
Times are changing when it comes to retirement. 65 for men has historically been a favourite, however retirement ages are retreating and recent changes in the law make it important that in dealing with an employee of potential retirement age there is no age discrimination. Discrimination claims can be very costly. Ensure properly drawn terms relating to retirement are in the contract and have a reasonable approach in raising the question on retirement with employees.
Avoid the pitfalls of current employment legislation and put in place additional contract terms to advance your business.
EMPLOYER HR LAW CONSULTATION
Here’s a reminder of your obligation as an employer
You are required to provide a written statement of any employee’s basic terms of employment within 12 weeks of them starting work. If you find yourself in in an Employment Tribunal with an employee, and have no basic written contract on place, you will receive an automatic penalty of 8 weeks’ salary irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the claim.
In addition to this, best business practice dictates that you also make sure the Contract of Employment contains detailed contractual terms that properly regulate the employer/employee relationship, thereby creating clarity and imposing necessary obligations in the work place.
- Basic statutory obligatory terms include:
Start Date, Job Title, Hours of Work, Holidays, Sickness Pay arrangements, Notice Periods, and Pension arrangements. None of these are particularly controversial.
- More detailed non-obligatory contract terms could include:
Expansion of the basic terms, to include clauses such as a system of approval of employees’ holidays. This would give you the right to manage when staff take holidays to ensure the smooth running of the business. Useful if you need to avoid holiday clashes whenever possible.
Interested to find out more? Look at our recommended reads
Are employers allowed to tell staff how to dress for work? This Metro report gives the facts >>
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About TM Law – Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Based in Wickford, 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.