Employment Legislation

Contracts Of Employment

The Contract of Employment is intended to inform and protect both employer and employee, and as the fundamental agreement between you and your individual staff members, it is important to get your contracts right from the outset.

The contract must legally include the Statement of Main Terms (more about this below), and the Contract of Employment, Statement of Main Terms and Employee Handbook will form the framework around which all employment issues will revolve.

The Statement of Main Terms

Most employees are legally entitled to receive a Main Statement of Terms and Conditions within 2 months of starting work with you (although ideally this would be provided on or before day 1). The written Statement must contain the following information in a single document:

  • The name of the Employer and the Employee
  • The date that continuous employment started
  • The job title / description
  • Where the employee will be working
  • How much and how often an employee will get paid
  • Normal working hours (and if this includes Sundays, nights or overtime)
  • Holiday entitlement
  • If the job is temporary, how long it is expected to last
  • The end date of a fixed term contract
  • Notice periods
  • Collective agreements
  • Pension entitlement
  • Who to go to with a grievance
  • How to complain about how a grievance was handled
  • How to complain about a disciplinary or dismissal decision

The Statement of Main Terms doesn’t need to contain information about sick pay and procedures, disciplinary and dismissal procedures or grievance procedures; but must state where this information can be found.

As the fundamental agreement between you and your individual staff members, it is important to get your Employment Contracts right from the outset…

Clearly, the Contract of Employment, Statement of Main Terms and Employee Handbook are incredibly important and complex documents. And although certain elements will be “standard” in all contracts, there will also be lots of information relevant to just your business. With so many legal requirements and best-practice recommendations, it is no wonder that most employers seek expert advice before creating or amending these documents.

If you need help drawing up Contracts of Employment, or would like advice on whether your existing contracts meet your needs and protect your business, get in touch.