Contracts & Policies for Employers

Employment law is incredibly fast moving and employment contracts and policies need to be reviewed regularly and kept up to date.

Contract of employment

The contract of employment is a document which sets out the rights and obligations of both parties. As a result, the contents and construction of the contract are of utmost importance to determine the extent of the obligations and to determine whether one party is acting outside the scope of the employment contract.

As there are various types of employment contracts it is important for an employer to establish at the outset the type of workers they have so that the appropriate contract can be provided to them. For example, casual staff, fixed terms contracts, apprenticeships, full-time and part-time employees, and seasonal employees. It is also helpful for employers to understand the differences between different types of workers and contracts so they can determine what is best for the business. 

An employer might also want to protect the business by including, for example, post-termination restrictions so that if the employee leaves they cannot solicit or deal with the company’s clients for a set period of time. Such provisions would be suitable for senior employees who deal with clients and confidential information of the company. 

We are hugely experienced in providing advice on contracts of employment and can provide employers with everything from simple statements of employment to complex directors’ service agreements. 

We can also assist in situations where changes to terms and conditions are needed. In such circumstances it is essential for an employer to formulate a business case and to follow a fair process, which will include consulting with employees. Depending on the number of affected employees it might also be necessary to carry out collective consultation, which could involve employee representatives being elected. We can advise on the process to adopt, support you with all internal communications, and help to address any workforce concerns.

Employment policies

Employment policies are statements of usual and good practice. Due to the nature of a policy it is expected that there may be circumstances where it would be inappropriate for the policy to be followed. The most common policy documents include whistleblowing policies, equal opportunities policies, disciplinary and grievance policies, sickness absence policies, family friendly policies, and social media policies. 

An employer might decide that changes need to be made to existing policies. Provided that they are not terms of the contract of employment an employer has the right to alter them. However, thought may need to be given to how this is done. We can assist with advising you on the steps to take in order to implement any such changes.