A professional and well thought out employment contract is the foundation of a successful and positive relationship between any employer and their employees. It is absolutely critical that you ensure that you have the right documentation from the get go in order to put your best professional foot forward toward your staff. Our employment solicitors in London can advise and assist you throughout the entire process from the consultation stage through to the drafting and finalising of the entire document.
We can also provide you with regular checks to ensure that your employment contracts are up to date with all of the current and ever changing legislative requirements. Many employers do not understand that they need to constantly update their employment contracts in order to be adhering to new laws. This gives them and their employees a net of security knowing that they are in safe hands should an issue arise.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a small business employing your first few contractors or an international organisation, our solicitors in London have all of the skills, experience, qualifications and background to be able to ensure that your contracts are created in a way that both protects your best interests as a company, and to harmonise your relationship with your employees.
By starting your working relationship with your staff on the right foot with everything out in the open, everyone knows what is expected of them, where they stand in a legal sense and what they should do should they come up against any issues. A good contract answers all of these questions and should be a point of reference for any employee who has a question about their place within a company.
What is an employment contract?
Before a person begins their first day working in a new company, they need to read, understand and sign an employment contract that will be given to them once they have accepted their position. It is a legally binding contract between the employer and the employee. It does not have to be in writing, however it is advisable that it is for transparency and for reference. A detailed contract will go over numerous conditions.
There are basic terms covering the health and safety responsibility of the employee that if they do not adhere to, the company holds no responsibility for their actions. This protects the business owner from actions that were avoidable once the employee has been fully trained in the correct manner.
Other basic conditions of a contract agreement will cover the amount of annual leave that the employee has the right to and it is considered accepted once the employee signs the document. Many people feel compelled to sign a document without reading it in its entirety or understanding what everything means. We as solicitors in London strongly advise all people to avoid this as they have the right to question a term within a contract or ask for a change if they do not feel it to be acceptable.
Talking through the contract is a good way for the relationship to begin to form in a positive way between employer and employee so that they both know that the terms are understood and agreed upon. This of course happens in an ideal world so by making the document as straightforward as possible and written in layman’s terms, we can trust that your employees will approach you on items they are unsure of.
Why is it important to take the time to write out a personalised contract?
As an employer, you are actually already legally bound by a range of mandatory terms in that you care for your staff, so therefore it is in your interest to take the time to draft a contract in your own words, for you to set out the terms and conditions that will establish the kind of relationship you wish to have with your staff. This allows you to better understand your requirements as an employer too.
You do not have to do this all on your own. We understand you have a business to run and need all the time that you can take in maintaining and supporting the success and growth of it. We are here to sit down and talk with you about your business, your values and where you see your business in years to come.
From this we can create a bespoke employment contract template that we can build upon together, that will suit the needs and demands that your unique business has. We have many years of experience in assisting our clients with drafting their contracts to create a successful relationship between themselves and their employees. We can draft contracts between yourself and an individual, or assist in writing up collective agreements between a company and employee representative groups, such as trade unions.
Each contract is unique in its own way and needs to be personalised in order for it to suit who it is made for. We have experience in assisting our clients with negotiations, providing win/win clauses and designing detailed grievance procedures that can certainly avoid costly disputes later down the track.
In order to protect yourself legally, it is important that you take the time to lay out a detailed and accurate employment contract that is water tight and legally binding. There are several steps that need to be taken to ensure this and we will ensure that you fulfill every one of these.
It is important that you make painfully clear throughout the contract what parts of it are legally binding. A lot of the contract is information for the employee that is liable to change as the company grows and their role within it changes. As laws change too, employers need to make sure that their current employment contract is up to date and still legally binding.
An important point to make is that minimum statutory rights can never be contracted out of. You are unable to decrease an employee’s rights, only improve upon them. We can assist you in ensuring that the job descriptions in your contract are as flexible as possible to ensure you will avoid the situation of being accused of constructive dismissal.
It can be a more confused situation than one initially thought and this is why we have a dedicated team ready to assist employers with writing out sound employment contracts. We look forward to helping you grow your business.