Contrary to common popular belief, an employer doesn’t have to provide an employee with a contract of employment.

However, they must provide an employee with a statement of their main terms and conditions within 2 months of the employment commencing (or within 1 month of any change).

Most employers do decide to issue contracts of employment as they can cover much more than the basic requirements of the mandatory statement of terms, for example, restrictive covenants.

When starting a new job or changing roles, it’s essential to make sure you understand what the contract says – and to make sure that there aren’t any surprises.

Having a contract reviewed before entering in to it can be very beneficial for you so that you can ensure that the contract accurately reflects the agreement made between you and your employer.

As well as the contract of employment, many employers will decide to have a Staff or Company Handbook which sets out their working practices and any expectations that they have for their employees. A Staff or Company Handbook isn’t mandatory, but there are some policies and procedures that we would advise that every employer should have, including:

  • A Disciplinary Procedure
  • A Grievance Procedure
  • An Equal Opportunities Policy
  • A Bribery Policy
  • A Smoking Policy

However, as there are many other aspects of working practice that an employer and their employees will want to know about, many employers will decide to have a Staff or Company Handbook to ensure that the business runs as effectively as possible, with managers and staff knowing what is expected of them, what happens when, and where to find information about a particular issue when they need it.

When issues arise, we can help you interpret the policies and procedures your employer has in place and can advise you on how your employer should be dealing with those issues. This arises most often in relation to cases where an employee is sick, or there is a disciplinary or grievance issue or the employer is undertaking performance management. We have advised and supported employees in all sectors as to the policies and procedures their employer has put in place and the way in which they are implemented.