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Contracts of Employment

Building on Solid Foundations

The foundation of the employment relationship is the contract of employment which outlines the main terms and conditions of both employer and employee. The benefit of having a contract of employment is that it outlines clearly the expectations of both parties. For example, the employee knows exactly the rate of pay, when and how it will be paid. On the other hand, the employer can specify specific conditions to protect the business such as ownership of intellectual property.

A set of statement of terms and conditions of employment is a requirement in law (ERA 1996) and employees can seek redress at an Employment Tribunal. But the contract of employment goes further than mere compliance; it provides the building blocks of the employment relationship. Should a conflict arise the contract may provide clarity on the issue of conflict as well as the process by which conflict should be managed.

The employee handbook compliments the contract of employment further by providing an outline of all the policies and procedures that staff members should adhere to. These can be tailor-made to your organisation and industry sector and are important in outlining the accepted behaviour you expect from your employees.

For example, if you are a voluntary sector organisation you may need specific policies and procedures relating to safeguarding of your client group. Your values on how you conduct your operations need to be specified both in policies and procedures but should be reflected in how you treat your employees.

We can support you in identifying your specific requirements of an employment contract as well as develop employee handbooks that encapsulate your organisational culture and how you want your employees to represent your organisation.