Employment contracts

An employee is entitled to receive a contract of employment setting out standard terms which are detailed in the Employment Rights Act 1996 within two months of commencing work.

Generally, however, the employment contractual terms will have been agreed upon during the interview, offer and acceptance stage of entering into an employment contract.

The same rules for an employment contract apply as to any other contract in that there is offer and acceptance and an intention to create legal relations and ‘good consideration’ between the parties, meaning that the employer will pay a wage or salary to the employee on the basis that the employee performs the tasks of the role.

Well-worded Employment Contracts are Important

One of the best ways of avoiding damaging misunderstandings between employees and employers in the workplace is to to ensure that you have a comprehensive, clear and legal  Employment Contract in place. 

Employment Contracts combined with a Company handbook and other documented workplace policies can help your business avoid many of the commonplace and easy to solve workplace issues that can distract you from running your business. 

Employment contracts can vary between a basic Section 1 statement which includes basic factual details of the parties and the agreed terms and a more tailored contract say for a senior executive which contains further details such as confidentiality clauses which are aimed at preventing an employee disclosing an employer’s legitimate business interest, either during or after the employment has ended. Employment contracts for salespeople and/or more senior staff can also include post-termination restrictive covenants which include restrictions on how and where an employee can work following the termination of their employment.

Quite apart from there being a legal requirement for an employer to provide an employee with an employment contract, it is good practice for both parties to know what is required of each of them with regards to the terms and conditions of work.