Katharine-KellyKatharine Kelly highlights the importance of agreeing and documenting key terms of employment within an employment contract.

Employment contracts are the agreements between an employer and an employee setting out employment rights, responsibilities and duties.

The contract shows that an employee accepts all of the terms offered by the employer. A comprehensive contract allows you to specify an employee’s terms and to ensure, not only that they understand exactly what is expected of them but also, that you are well protected. This can assist in reducing any potential claim against your business.

Employees are entitled to a written statement of their main employment terms within two months. The most effective method of providing this is with a written contract signed by both parties encompassing all of the necessary terms and not just those required by law, for example ensuring that your business secrets are protected under a confidentiality clause.

An employee cannot sue their employer for not providing written terms alone but if another claim is brought in the future this element can be tagged on to the claim. This will increase the amount of compensation awarded to the employee. Furthermore, if you fail to ensure that a contract has been drafted well there may well be ambiguity. Deciding such issues during any dispute between parties can dramatically increase the costs incurred.

An employment contract is a vital component of the employer/employee relationship and it is therefore essential that every business gives their contracts consideration. Please call us on 08000 832 832 for assistance in tailoring your employment contracts to the individual needs of your business.

Read more about contracts of employment here.