Free Download: A Guide to Contracts of Employment

Contract Of Employment

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It is a legal requirement for employers to outline the terms and conditions of employment to their employees. By doing so, employers can also avoid ambiguity which may otherwise lead to potential disputes.

Also known as an employment contract, a contract of employment is a legally binding agreement between an employer and an employee. Covering employment particulars, a contract of employment allows employers to outline their standards and procedures. 

Lamont Jones is a CIPD accredited provider of HR services working with businesses across the UK. One of our key service offerings is the creation of contracts of employment.

Having a contract of employment drawn up professionally and tailored for your business ensures both your business and employees are on the same page. It provides both employers and employees with a documented set of agreements to refer back to when needed.

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    What Is A Contract Of Employment?

    A contract of employment sets out anything that is important in terms of rules or processes so that employees can be guided. The information contained within a contract of employment may need to be referenced for several reasons, including acting as the starting point for any issues or disputes within the workplace. 

    Also known as an employment contract, it was previously the case under the employment rights act 1996 that employers had to provide a written statement of employment particulars within two months of an employee starting work. However, since the 6th of April 2020, those classed as employees or workers must receive what’s known as a principal statement on or before their start date

    Within the principal statement, employers and workers must be provided with a broad range of information relating to their working conditions. Therefore, it is highly advisable to have a professional such as our team here at Lamont Jones draw up a contract of employment document for your team as part of these requirements.

    Alongside employment contracts, we also provide a vast range of other HR services for UK businesses

    What Information Needs To Be Included In The Written Statement Of Employment Particulars Or Contract Of Employment?

    Employers must provide employees with information outlining the terms and conditions of their employment. 

    Two commonly associated terms include ‘the written statement of employment particulars’ or ‘contract of employment’. However, the 6th of April 2020 changes mean such information has been condensed into a single document known as a principal statement.

    While not exhaustive, the principal statement should include details such as:

    • Employer name
    • Employee’s name
    • Employee’s job title
    • Employee job description
    • Start date
    • Salary information
    • Hours and days to be worked
    • Location of where an employee will be working
    • Holiday entitlement 
    • How long a job is expected to last
    • Job contract type 
    • Probationary period
    • Pension schemes
    • Obligatory training information
    • Sick pay procedures
    • Notice period
    • Additional benefits

    Lamont Jones has intrinsic knowledge of employment law, including the requirements for a principal statement. Therefore, we are best placed to create this document on behalf of your business to help ensure an agreeable outcome for both employers and employees. 

    Contact Of Employment Template UK – What Employers Need To Know

    There is a high number of online searches for those seeking a downloadable employment contract template.

    As an employer, you might assume that a copy and paste format will save you time and cover any necessary legal obligations. However, as a legally binding contract, downloading or copying an existing document is extremely risky. 

    Instead, it is highly recommended that any employment contract type is created by somebody who understands employment law such as our team here at Lamont Jones. Producing a contract of employment specific to your business offers far better protection for your business, while also improving clarity for employees. 

    Employment Contract UK FAQs

    There are risks for both employers and employees when an employment contract has not been provided.
    It is a legal requirement for employers to provide a written statement of the terms and conditions of employment. Hiring an employee without providing an employment contract means the employer risks legal action or penalisation from the Employment Tribunal.
    Even on a basic level, employees having a clear outline of their employment terms and conditions helps avoid ambiguity and potential legal disputes.

    There are various terms relating to employee contracts, meaning it is easy for employers to become confused about what’s actually required.

    As of the 6th of April 2020, employees and workers must be provided with information about their terms of employment. This information must be provided on or before their first day of work. These terms need to be provided in a single document rather than spread across several documents.

    In terms of providing a contract of employment specifically for this cause, there isn’t a legal requirement for an employer to produce one. However, we strongly advise employers to produce a written contract of employment to protect their business interests and provide clarity to employees. Lamont Jones provides contract and documentation services including producing contracts of employment.

    It’s also worth noting that employers must also provide a statement of main terms on the first day that an employee works for you.

    A written statement (also known as a written statement of employment particulars) should provide a summary of the terms of employment such as the employer’s name, start date, job title and working hours.

    If you are unsure what should go in a written statement, please contact our team here at Lamont Jones for further advice.

    How a contract of employment and a written statement of employment particulars differ is that employers must provide a written statement of employment particulars on or before the start date to employees and workers.

    No, it is not a legal requirement for a business to produce a staff handbook (also known as an employee handbook or a company handbook). However, staff handbooks can be a useful point of reference for employees as they enable employers to outline various workplace expectations. In particular, staff handbooks can streamline the onboarding process, and encourage consistency in terms of workplace conduct or procedures.

    Employment contracts are an essential method of providing a legal framework for both employers and their employees. The four main employment contract types to know in the UK include permanent contract, fixed term contract, casual contract and zero hours contract.

    As a general guide, a contract of employment should include the employer’s name, employee’s name, date of employment commencement, type of contract, main place of work, job title, duties and responsibilities, probation period and background check information, hours or shift pattern information and salary information.

    This list is far from exhaustive, and may vary from business to business. As a legally binding document, a contract of employment should be prepared by somebody who understands employment law such as a qualified practitioner. Lamont Jones provides contract of employment services in the UK which are tailored to each specific business we work with.

    Common questions surrounding employment contracts include ‘Can an employer force you to sign a new contract’ and ‘Do I have to sign a new employment contract?’

    To answer each of these queries, no employees cannot be forced to sign an employment contract. However, without a signature, an employer and the employee do not have the right to change the document.

    If an employee agrees to work for an employer and starts their role, then this is considered an acknowledgement and acceptance of the employer’s terms and conditions.

    While an employment contract technically does not have to be in writing or signed, it is always preferable if an employment contract is both in writing and signed. This is so there is a record of any agreement if it is needed by either the employer or employee at a later date, such as for disciplinary and grievance procedures.

    As of the 6th of April 2020, employers must provide a written statement of employment particulars on or before the start date to both employees and workers. This requirement applies regardless of how long employees or workers are due to work for the company.

    While the new legislation does not affect employees who started their role before the 6th of April 2020, existing employees do have the right to request a written statement. If a request is made, then employers must provide a written statement within one month.

    While the terms ‘worker’ and ‘employee’ may sound the same, they do in fact have different meanings. 

    Simply put, an employee is someone who is hired for a particular job, usually with a set amount of days and hours attached to their contract.

    A worker is an individual who has a casual or less structured arrangement with their workplace. However, for national minimum wage purposes, a person working for an employer under a contract of employment will always qualify as a worker.

    As noted above, all employees and workers are entitled to receive a contract of employment or a written statement of employment particulars.

    Continuous employment means an employee has worked for their employer without a break and this time is calculated starting from the employee’s first day of work. If someone is in continuous employment, then their length of their employment gives them rights to things such as maternity pay, redundancy pay and flexible working requests.

    Not all events whereby employees are not at work counts as a break, including annual leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, sickness and strikes. Some other conditions also exist.

    If you are an employer unsure of the conditions surrounding continuous employment, our HR team with knowledge of employment law can advise further.

    Lamont Jones – Contract Of Employment UK 

    Lamont Jones provides a vast range of HR services to UK-based businesses including written employment contracts.

    Based in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, we provide contracts of employment for businesses across Bradford, Brighouse, Castleford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Keighley, Leeds, Pontefract, Sheffield and York as well as the wider UK.

    To find out more about our contracts of employment services give us a call on 01924 441032 or email us at info@lamontjones.co.uk.