Any small business employing staff must be aware of the details that need to be included in an employment contract. Carolyn Mumby, of Employment Law Essentials, explains what employers need to know about terms of employment.
Employees are entitled to a Statement of Terms of Employment within the first two months of starting work for a new employer. It should be compliant with the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Employment Act 2002 stating the obvious in some instances, such as the start date, the days and hours of work, the place of work, the job itself, the rate of pay, holiday entitlement, sick pay entitlement, the details of any collective agreements (relevant to unionised environments) which may be in place, and pension entitlement, etc. Then there are some apparently obscure clauses such as whether the employee will be required to work abroad for more than one month per annum. The full list is available here at the OPSI website.
There are matters which a competent employment lawyer would advise an employer to include such as deductions from wages clauses and lay-off provisions and equality and diversity policies but that is a matter for the individual and as specialists in employment contracts we find that however similar a business may apparently be to another down the street, in fact, they each have different requirements so its difficult to advise on a general basis beyond the statutory requirements stated above.
Not to be missed out are the disciplinary and grievance procedures which are elaborated upon in the Employment Act 2002 and ACAS can give you a brief description of the procedures but in my experience it is a bit too brief and gives the impression that disciplinary management is merely a three-step procedure. Well you could say that flying to the moon is a three-step procedure if you boil it down far enough, but most people would accept that it’s a bit more complicated than that!
See also: How to draw up an employment contract