Employment Contracts & Policies

Our Employment Law team has many specialist lawyers who bring employment based solutions to both employers and individuals.

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Employment Legal Services

Most employment relationships will be underpinned with an employment contract. An employment contract will ordinarily set out the key terms of your employment and any restrictions following the termination of your employment. If you have been provided with a new employment contract or looking to leave your current employment and want advice on the terms of your contract our team of specialised employment lawyers can provide pragmatic and practical advice and identify any clauses of which you should be specifically aware.

For Employers
For Employees

A starting point for all employers is to ensure that they have up to date contracts for their workforce as well as having all the necessary policies and procedures in place.

We can ensure all of your contracts and policies reflect the latest developments in statute and case law. In particular, we can ensure that all documentation provides your business with adequate protection, particularly when an employee laves your employment.

Further, where you are looking to engage with an external individual or another business, as a consultant, we can provide advice on employment status and advise on the appropriate contractual documentation.

Policies and procedures can help the smooth functioning of your business. Our employment lawyers can assist you in providing bespoke policies and handbooks in place tailored to your business needs.

HC Refresh – Handbook Updating Service
Legal updates and changes in best practice happen regularly, and many businesses find it difficult to keep track. To assist, our employment specialists offer a handbook updating service called HC Refresh.

HC Refresh provides an initial audit of your company handbook to let you know if it is up to date, and we then update and maintain your handbook to ensure that it continues to comply with legal requirements. If you are interested in our HC Refresh Service, please get in touch with one of our specialists in our employment team.

An employment contract will ordinarily set out the key terms of your employment and any restrictions following the termination of your employment. If you have been provided with a new employment contract or looking to leave your current employment and want advice on the terms of your contract our team of specialised employment lawyers can provide pragmatic and practical advice and identify any clauses of which you should be specifically aware.

Employment Contract Disputes
If an employment dispute arises during or after your employment, or in relation to the services you have been providing, our experienced employment law team can guide your through those disputes. We often advise on compliance issues or renegotiating terms and, where necessary, can help to negotiate a settlement or deal without the need for legal proceedings.

 

FAQs

Why should a Company provide their employees with employment contracts?

Whilst not a legal requirement it is both beneficial and advisable for employers to have contracts of employment. A carefully drafted contract plays a key role in managing employees effectively as well as ensuring that the Company is safeguarded.

A tailored contract of employment is drafted to suit the needs of the business and will provide clarity to both parties as to their obligations and expectations.

A contract of employment can also be used to introduce post termination restrictions to ensure that an employer is adequately protected when the relationship ends.

Does my employer need to give me an employment contract? 

Whilst there is no obligation to give a formal contract of employment, all employees or workers are entitled to be provided with a written statement of employment particulars. This document should set out the core terms governing the relationship including but not limited to hours of work, rate of pay, holiday entitlement, place of work and length of the job if fixed term. This should be provided to you on day one of your employment/contractual arrangement. 

What are employers legally required to provide? 

As a bare minimum employers should provide all employees and workers with a written statement of employment particulars. The Employment Rights Act sets out the defined list of information that must be provided to the employee as a minimum.

This must be provided to the employee on the first day of their employment.

What is a handbook and why should an employer have one? 

A handbook is a comprehensive set of policies and guidelines applicable to those working for a company.

A handbook provides an employer the opportunity to set out in detail exactly what is expected of staff in given situations and provides clarity as to what is expected.

Should I take legal advice on my employment contract?

You do not need to take legal advice before entering an employment contract, however, we recommend that you do so to ensure that you fully understand the terms of the contract which you are agreeing to. We can also look to advise you on the potential effects the contract may have in the future.

Can my employer look to restrict future activities? 

Your employment contract may well contain post termination restrictions such as non-compete or non-solicitation provisions. Many employees do not realise what they are agreeing to when signing a contract and subsequently discover they are impeded when looking to move to a new job. We can advise you on any post termination restrictions in your contract, their enforceability and what options you may have. 

Can my employer change the terms of my contract?

In most cases your employer will not be able to simply change the terms of your employment without first following a consultation procedure and obtaining your consent.

In some circumstances your contract may have a mobility clause, which may allow your employers to ask you to work in a different location (providing it is reasonable) without obtaining your consent.

What happens if I do not consent to changes to my employment contract? 

Your employer should consult with you about any proposed changes to the contract and any concerns that you may have. If your employer unilaterally imposes the changes you could continue to work under protest or potentially refuse to work and consider submitting a claim for constructive unfair dismissal. 

In some instances, employers may look to fire and rehire. This is risky for employers to do and if your employer takes this step, we would always encourage that you seek advice on your position. 

Can I request changes to my terms of employment? 

You can always look to request changes to your contractual terms but there is not necessarily an obligation for your employer to agree to these.

In some instances, your employer may have increased obligations to consider your request, in particular, if you were making a flexible working request with perhaps changes to your hours, place of work or working pattern.

What is a consultancy agreement?

A consultancy agreement is used to govern the relationship between a company and a third-party consultant to carry out services. The consultant could be a self-employed individual or a personal service company. 

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