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What should be in my employment contracts?

  • Blog
  • 07 November 2017

When you’re hiring new staff, you will need to provide them with an employment contract detailing their role within your business. There are certain things that need to be included in this document. To give you some guidance on the issue, we’ve put together a list of some things you could include in your employment contracts.

What should be in my employment contracts?

Duties and direct supervisors

Primarily, your contracts need to define exactly what responsibilities, tasks, and duties that the employee will have, as well as what their job title actually is and who their direct supervisor is.

Defining the responsibilities of the employee is particularly important. If the employee ends up performing tasks that are completely separate to their contract, or has to perform a significant amount of additional duties not detailed in the contract, they may choose to seek employment elsewhere. Or they could seek to raise a grievance against your business, which could result in disagreement on whether or not their contract is being breached.

Employees will have three options in dealing with this situation. Simply negotiating with the employer to find common ground, taking up an official grievance with the business, or taking a case to an employment tribunal due to breach of contract.

With that said, you need to include information as to who an employee should report to in the event of a grievance, as well as what you will do as a business to record and deal with grievances.

You should also mention whether or not you will be including a probationary period, and what the procedure will be after this time is up – ie, when an official contract of employment will be offered, and the expected notice period if permanent employment is offered. If the job is only temporary, you should tell the employee the length of their employment, and upon what date the contract will end.

Other important points to include are where exactly the employee will be based during work, and how many hours a week the employee will be working. For example, if they will be working a fixed Monday to Friday, 37.5 hour week, or predetermined shifts, and whether or not they will be expected to work Sundays, or night shifts.

What will they be offered for doing it?

You need to include information on the wage you that will be offered. This can be as an hourly wage, or an annual salary as long as it meets the National Minimum Wage. You should also highlight the policy for overtime pay if an employee will need to work outside of their contracted hours. You should also highlight when staff should expect to be paid.

Additionally, the policy on paid leave, sickness procedures, and unapproved time off should be discussed. As a legal requirement, 5.6 working weeks, or 28 days, of paid leave must be offered to full time employees. Whether or not you choose to include bank holidays in this number is at your discretion, as is whether or not you choose to offer more time off than the legal minimum.

After 4 days of sickness, staff are entitled to statutory sick pay of £89.35 a week until they’re well enough to work. Detailing your sickness reporting procedure will help keep things running smoothly and help staff feel like they aren’t a burden.

Deductions, and expenses.

While the salary before tax must equate to at least the National Minimum Wage, there may be things your business offers that can be provided through salary deductions.

The main thing to detail is information on your workplace pension scheme. Though the employee has the right to opt out, you must inform them of the provider and the details of the scheme you have.

If your business requires employees to operate at their own discretion in some cases, such as if they need to travel to a client out of their own pocket, or they need to stay overnight in a hotel, then you should detail what your policy is when dealing with expenses being filed.

How our Legal Document service can help you

It might seem a little unnerving making sure that you’ve covered all your bases legally when you start looking to hire staff for your business. That’s why our FSB Online Legal Document service, which provides a large variety of legal factsheets and documents is there to help you. The benefits of this service, which is included in our FSB Business Creation package, include:

  • Access to over 200 factsheets and 500 legal documents, covering all forms of business-related legal information, and customisable based on your needs.
  • Monthly updates on new legislation and key legal developments in our ‘Legal bulletin’ email.

To find out more about this service, visit our FSB Online Legal Documents page, or to see how else FFSB could help your business to develop visit our package comparison page.

FSB Online Legal Documents from FSB

Factsheets and downloads for: Employment Law, Taxation Matters, Business Law and Health & Safety information. All free. As well as monthly bulletins.

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