Employment Law

Employment Contracts

All employees are entitled in law (S1 Employment Rights Act 1996) to a written contract of employment. If one is not provided, they are presumed to have the rights set out in the Act as a default. So if, as an employer, you want to control the way in which staff holidays, absence, performance management etc. are dealt with within your organisation, you should provide and agree your own contract with your staff.

You should also be aware that your senior staff and directors will often have access to important and valuable information about your business so it's important to know that you can control and protect how they deal with that information both during their tenure and after they leave. We can tailor senior employee and directors restricted covenants and advise on what's likely to be enforceable.

Remember, if an employee tries to bring a claim against their employer, the first place tribunal will often look will be the contract of employment.

Our service includes the preparation of:

  • Senior employment contracts for key staff
  • Junior employment contracts
  • Basic letter-style contracts – very simple bare-bones contracts for staff with little or no additional benefits, minimal responsibilities and no restrictions on leaving.
  • Directors service agreements. Directors are not always employees. Directors service agreements set out the statutory requirements of directors alongside any employed role they undertake. Note that if your company has key man insurance it is typically a requirement of the policy that the director evidence his/her employment with the company.
  • Non-executive directors' letters of appointment that set out the terms of their engagement with the company
  • Consultancy agreements – where an individual is engaged by the company as an independent consultant or contractor it's vital that their contract with the company sets out the nature and scope of their engagement to help evidence that they are not employees or workers. There may be significant tax implications if a contractor is found to be an employee, so an agreement can help evidence the nature of the relationship

We will work with you to understand exactly what your requirements are, what's been agreed and what the individual is actually doing to provide a bespoke contract tailored to your needs.

We can advise on best practice over and above the statutory minimum requirements of:

  • Statutory minimum notice period
  • Minimum holiday entitlement
  • Minimum pay
  • Maternity/paternity and shared parental leave

Contracts can be part-time or full-time and can be fixed term or permanent.

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