One of the most popular questions I get asked (about 3 times a week) is do I have to issue a contract of employment?

Well that’s an easy one to answer, that answer is you do have to issue a ‘Statement of Particulars’ within 2 months of someone starting employment with you. That usually takes the form of an employment contract to us lay-folk. It doesn’t have to be in writing but everything is better written down and signed by both parties – trust me. But all that is changing in April 2020 when the Government’s ‘Good Work Plan’ comes into effect and from then on you will have to give all employees a contract on their first day of work.

Surely it’s better for me if I don’t issue one?

The answer is NO it is not better at all. It’s breaking the law for a start and thats never good is it? At the moment you have 2 months to do it but from next year you don’t so get into good habits now and start issuing them as soon as.

What then should be in a contract I hear you ask?

Here is the minimum list, as set out by those wise folks at ACAS

A written statement can be made up of more than one document (if the employer gives employees different sections of their statement at different times). If this does happen, one of the documents (called the ‘principal statement’) must include at least:

  • the business’s name
  • the employee’s name, job title or a description of work and start date
  • if a previous job counts towards a period of continuous employment, the date the period started
  • how much and how often an employee will get paid
  • hours of work (and if employees will have to work Sundays, nights or overtime
  • holiday entitlement (and if that includes public holidays)
  • where an employee will be working and whether they might have to relocate
  • if an employee works in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is

As well as the principal statement, a written statement must also contain information about:

  • how long a temporary job is expected to last
  • the end date of a fixed-term contract
  • notice periods
  • collective agreements
  • pensions
  • who to go to with a grievance
  • how to complain about how a grievance is handled
  • how to complain about a disciplinary or dismissal decision

The written statement doesn’t need to cover the following (but it must say where the information can be found) – I usually put these in an appendix at the back:

  • sick pay and procedures
  • disciplinary and dismissal procedures
  • grievance procedures

Fear not, we here at CrosseHR can draft contract for you that is easy, suits your business, legally compliant and keeps everyone happy.

Next month it’s time to think about holidays, which coincidentally is the theme of my next blog.

Olga