Human Resources, News

Writing UK Employment Contracts

What is an Employment Contract?

An employment contract, also known as a ‘written statement of employment particulars’, is a written document that lays out stipulations as terms and conditions of the company. These stipulations include what rights you have as the employee and what the employer expects of you. Although there is no legal requirement for an employer to provide a ‘written’ employment contract, oral contracts are much harder to prove the existence of. An employment contract is essentially a document that legally defines the relationship between an employer and employee with the primary goal to make sure there is no misunderstanding on what is involved. The employment contract protects both party’s interests. The person(s) responsible for providing the detail of the employment contract(s) is usually the employer, although there are plenty of templates available online for doing so. A solicitor can then check these contracts to make sure it upholds lawful requirements of fair employment and covers all aspects of the company policies and procedures.

Onboarding and Introducing Employment Contracts

Introducing new staff into a business is called ‘onboarding.’ This is the process of introducing new starters to the company and/or department. Onboarding allows for the new staff member to develop connections between the goals that are established companywide compared to daily tasks or goals necessary for their roles. An employment contract is provided to the employee during this time, given to new employees on the first day of work, but no later than 2 months into employment. Onboarding is beneficial because it helps HR managers welcome new hires efficiently although it may not seem that way, this process helps a new employee gain an emotional connection to the company meaning they are less likely to leave at the first sign of an issue, meaning HR spends less time recruiting new staff. A good onboarding process includes several steps:

  • Releasing the offer: Sending and signing of essential documents like offer letter, policy documents etc.
  • Offer acceptance: Scheduled call or meeting, reviewing forms, benefits policies and outlining expectations.
  • Waiting period: Even after an employee accepts an offer, it does not mean the employee will turn up for the first day. This allows a new starter to change their mind.
  • Day of starting work: HR managers will aid in welcoming and making comfortable so new hire is not too overwhelmed.
  • Coordinating with departments: Help relevant departments to welcome the new employee to help the transition.
  • Training and orientation: Gives insight into the company’s culture and goals. Introduces and cements policies, practises and objectives.

UK Employment Law and Employment Contracts

Under UK employment, there are four prime examples of written employment contract: Permanent: For an employee that has a long-term position with regular hours, set out for them as full-time or part-time work. Usually, they are paid a salary or hourly wage. Fixed-term: For an employee that has apposition that ends of a predetermined date, usually used to cover things like maternity and/or long-term sickness. Casual: This type of contract leaves no obligation for the employer to provide work for an employee, or for an employee to accept any work that may be provided. Zero hours: Zero hour contract is a type of casual contract which again means it does not guarantee the employee work and has no obligation to pick up work provided by an employer. However, are afforded employee rights such as National Minimum Wage. How We Can Help If you would like help with your policy and procedure documents or legal agreements, contracts or advice, please contact us using the form below.


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