As an employer or employee, it’s fundamental to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions that govern the working relationship. This is where a contract of employment comes into play, outlining the essential details of the agreement between the two parties.
In the UK, employment contracts can take various forms, but they must adhere to certain legal requirements specified by the government. As stated on GOV.UK, the legal terms of a contract are referred to as “terms,” and employers are obliged to make it evident which parts of the contract are legally binding.
The terms and conditions of an employment contract may exist in various formats, such as a written contract, a written statement of employment, orally, or even within an employee handbook or company notice board. In some instances, the legal requirements prescribed by law may form part of the employment contract, like the payment of the National Minimum wage. Collective agreements, negotiated contracts between employers and trades unions or staff associations, can also impact the terms and conditions of an individual’s employment.
While some of the terms of the employment contract may imply automatically, it’s crucial to ensure that all terms and conditions are documented clearly and agreed upon by both parties. Implied terms outline what is reasonably expected within the working relationship, such as the obligation of the employee not to steal from the employer.
Having a solid employment contract provides several benefits to both employers and employees. For employers, a well-drafted employment contract helps to promote clarity and certainty in the working relationship, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and disputes. A contract can act as an essential document in protecting the business’ interests, including safeguarding trade secrets and confidential information. Your contract can also set out the employer’s disciplinary procedures, as well as the grounds available, helping to ensure fairness in dealings with employees.
Employees, on the other hand, benefit from knowing precisely what’s expected of them and what is offered in exchange. Your contract should set out essential features of the job, such as the hours of work, remuneration package, leave entitlements, and performance expectations. A comprehensive contract can also provide more job security, mitigating the risk of being dismissed unfairly, instilling trust and confidence in the employer-employee relationship.
In summary, it is imperative to have a legally binding contract with all your employees that aligns with the regulations. A well-formulated employment contract provides clarity and certainty about the terms and conditions of the working relationship, promoting a positive employer-employee relationship.
For further information about contracts of employment, please visit Employment Contracts – HR Heroes
* Employment contracts: Contract terms – GOV.UK ([www.gov.uk](http://www.gov.uk))