Contracts of Employment - Is your Business Protected?
Nov 30, 2015
One of the biggest assets to your business is your people and you should make sure they are looked after by having a contract of employment in place as this forms your relationship with your employees.
Interestingly, there is no requirement to put an employment contract in writing, however by doing so, you remove any ambiguity that may come from having a verbal contract and it is clear exactly what each person’s responsibilities are. In addition, there is a legal requirement to give a Written Statement that identifies an employee’s main terms and conditions of employment, including holiday, hours of work and pay within two months of them starting with you even if you do not provide a full contract.
Not only does an employment contract lay down the responsibilities of your business and those of your employees, but it can also protect your business by stating your requirements and what is expected of your employees.
It is worth remembering that some terms of an employment contract are implied and are not specified
If you have existing staff and you want to change the terms and conditions of their employment, you must be very careful how you approach this. You will need to get agreement from your employees about the changes.
Your starting point should be to check the existing contract to see if there are any clauses in there that allow you to make changes or alterations. These are sometimes known as flexibility clauses and allow employers the flexibility to react to economic changes but it is important to know that the Employment Tribunal has given narrow interpretation to flexibility clauses in past cases and before relying on this clause, you should obtain legal advice.
If you want to change your employee's contracts, talk to them and consult with them on these changes. They are far more likely to agree to amend terms if they know and understand the reason.
Any change in terms that have not been agreed upon is potentially a breach of contract and you may find that you are facing claims against you. Before you take any action and as a matter of course, you should talk to a specialist employment law solicitor. You can talk to Richard Gregory on 01264 325811 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more advice on how to proceed.
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