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Advice on employment contracts and Employees handbook


Why Your Business Needs Employment Contracts

Can your business spare £25,000?

This is the amount it could cost for not providing an Employment Contract to an employee.

Are you at risk of a hefty penalty?

The Consensus HR team often provides HR Health Checks and employment law advice regarding our clients’ HR provision. One of the most common questions raised by employers is: “why do we need Employee Contracts?”.

Business owners/managers also query the benefits to the business. This is usually due to concern about investing time and funds to create Employee Contracts.

Why a business should provide Employment Contracts

An Employment Contract ensures that everyone is fully aware of:

  1. the main terms within the business, and
  2. the main terms of their employment.

It includes details such as:

  • Name of employer and employee
  • Pay and whether it’s weekly, monthly pay etc.
  • Job description/job title
  • Pensions and pension schemes
  • Date employment and continuous employment started
  • Working hours
  • Details of any collective agreements that directly affect the employee’s conditions of employment.
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures following the Acas Code of Practice.
  • Job location
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Sick leave and pay entitlements
  • Appeals procedure under the Discipline & Grievance.

The risks of not providing Employment Contracts

It is a legal requirement for businesses to provide employees with a written statement of the terms and conditions of their employment (their Employment Contract), from their first day of employment. If this is not in place, you could be taken to an employment tribunal and fined between two and four weeks’ pay.

More importantly, written terms of employment offer some protection (for you and your employees) should there be disagreement about what was agreed. “These disagreements could result in a breach of contract claim, with a potential penalty of up to £25,000 at an employment tribunal or up to £50,000 at the High Court,” explains Matthew Pinto-Chilcott of Consensus HR. “It’s definitely not worth taking any risks.”

He adds: “When we write an Employment Contract, we ensure all required details are included. We look beyond the essential items to check what other terms may be relevant and helpful to your business. Items such as ‘Deductions from wages’ an area that is often overlooked, for example. This is needed when an employee leaves the business, is working within a probation period or has compassionate leave, to name a few scenarios.”

Are you worried about your current Employment Contract?

Would you like reassurance that your business is fully compliant and working to best practice?

Talk to the friendly team at Consensus HR. Contact us now on 01483 576750 or alternatively complete our Contact Form.

Employment Contracts & Handbooks as one of the key HR foundations for any business. They ensure that all your team members know what is expected from them. This includes their salaries and hours to how poor misconduct may be dealt with in line with employment law. They set out the rules for ensuring that everybody within the team knows what action can be taken by the company should expectations not be met. Two examples are Disciplinaries and Grievances; initial actions and steps of last resort would be included.

Our Employment Contracts & Handbooks are legally written by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and our HR business professional. We take into account all your specific business areas, ensuring legal adherence. Consensus HR offers a monthly service of unlimited telephone and HR advice. Your Contracts & Handbooks would be updated as and when needed ensuring continual adherence should legislation change.

Consensus HR actively provide Advice on employment contracts and Employees handbook


What is included in an Employees Handbook?

When a new employee starts with the business​, ​it is ​best practice to ensure they are aware of what is expected of them and an employee handbook plays a key part in assisting them with this – ​it is always good to set out the ground rules with your employees from the very beginning. An Employee Handbook puts all the key information and rules in one easy place ​and ​allows them to access the information as and when required ​without needing ​to ask a member of ​staff which, during the first few days of a role​,​ can sometimes be quite daunting.

A Company Employee Handbook allows the team to gain an understanding of what is expected from them and the company with areas such as pay, hours of work and benefits to communication and team events to name a few. We also ensure that important company policies are included such as disciplinary & grievance, equality and sickness.

We work with our clients to ensure that the handbook is ​tailored to the business, ​reflecting ​the organisation’s values​/​vision, and ​on occasion, a welcome letter from the management team.

Why do I need a Handbook and Contract?

These are two completely different items and by having a handbook it allows you to enter all the Company Policies in one place. ​Unlike your Contract of Employment, ​it ​is non-contractual, thus allowing you to update policies when needed without the need to re-issue contracts.