Have You Cobbled Your Contracts?

With the barrage of new regulation at the forefront of clients’ minds over recent months, it’s not surprising that other fundamentals involved with the running of a business have been put to one side. However, some of these fundamentals, if continually neglected, could cost your business greatly, especially when it comes to employment law.

When auditing clients’ employment files, one of the main areas of weakness sits with one of the most important documents – the Contract of Employment. This is the very foundation of the legal relationship between employer and employee and without one, or indeed, with a badly composed one, a whole array of unresolvable disputes could occur.

It is important to note that, whilst consistency is good, one contract does not necessarily suit all roles and a personalised contract will ensure both employer and employee are clear on their respective rights and responsibilities. A good example is restrictive covenants, which should only be used where appropriate.  An employment contract lasts for the entirety of an individual’s employment within a business and whilst there may be changes or additions along the way, it needs to be correct, without compromise.

From experience, it appears almost commonplace that Contracts of Employment are downloaded from an online template and adapted to suit, (or not!) for example, putting in the relevant details specific to the business. However, this is simply not enough. Online templates or contracts cobbled together from snippets of information found on the web are not and do not constitute a robust contract of employment. These are vital, legal documents that need to be carefully considered with an individual’s role and the business’s needs firmly in the spotlight.

We would urge you to get the relevant advice if any of this rings a bell and you are at all unsure of the quality of your Contracts of Employment – after all, it is both your business and your employees who benefit from this legally binding agreement.

Please do contact me for more information on our employment support services.

About the author

As HR Manager at RWA, Amy works as both internal practitioner and consultant to RWA clients. Whilst undertaking the role of HR Manager to RWA employees, she coordinates the on-boarding of new recruits, manages employee absence and assists with performance reviews and disciplinary/grievance situations.

In a consultancy capacity, Amy provides advice to clients on a range of HR matters, including recruitment & interviewing, redundancy, discipline & grievance, absence management, contracts of employment, and performance management.

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