Contracts of Employment

Most employees are legally entitled to a written statement containing the main terms and conditions of their employment. Employees should receive this document within two months of starting work. This is commonly referred to as a Contract of Employment.

If an employee does not receive a copy of a written statement of their terms or if with a dispute arises around the way the terms such be read and interpreted, they could make a claim at an employment tribunal.

The written statement of terms must contain specific information including pay, holiday entitlement, hours of work, entitlement to benefits.

Normally other information relating to general work rules  are contained in a separate document, normally a Staff Handbook, which apply to all employees

A written statement is a legally binding agreement between the employer and the employee. This agreement is formed when the employer offers work the employee and the employee accepts that work in return for pay.

The following information must be included:.

  • Names of the employer and employee.
    • Date the employment starts and date the employee’s period of continuous employment began.
    • Place of work.
    • Pay and pay frequency.
    • Hours of work.
    • Holiday entitlement and holiday pay.
    • Job title and job description.
    • Details of any collective agreements which may directly affect the employee’s conditions of employment.

Although these are the essential points which should be included in all contract of employment, there are many different types of contract which can be issued to employees and it is important that your organisation has the right contract for the position offered.

Alternatively if you would like to arrange for one our Directors to discuss a bespoke contract of employment in order to safeguard your business please click here to arrange for a ‘call me back’ at a convenient time for you.

Staff Handbooks

Having a clear set of rules and procedures on how the business operates staffing issues avoids confusion and ensures consistency. It also answers questions from employees on processes and procedures. From a streamlined guide on company policies, to a more in-depth and prescriptive manual covering all aspects of work rules, employee entitlements and procedural requirements, we can tailor a handbook to fit your needs.

Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures

All businesses which employ staff will, at some stage, need to deal with a complaint made by or against an employee. It is important to have clear guidance in place on the steps to be taken, both for the employee and the manager who is dealing with the process.

Whilst you can invoke the standard ACAS Codes of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, many employers find it preferable to have bespoke procedures in place which fit the needs of their business.

We provide suitably worded procedures, and can bespoke more in-depth processes tailored to your needs if required.

Equal Opportunities

The Equality Act was introduced in October 2010 and it replaced the previous discrimination legislation concerning sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age.

The Act continued to protect the same characteristics but also extended the protection to new groups. The specific “protected characteristics” set out in the act now include:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex; and
  • sexual orientation.

An Equal Opportunities Policy is designed to demonstrate that an employer treats all its employee fairly and should set out the organisations’ approach to equal opportunities and the avoidance of discrimination at work.

The Policy should apply to all aspects of employment with, including recruitment, pay and conditions, training, appraisals, promotion, conduct at work, disciplinary and grievance procedures, and termination of employment.

Health and Safety

Our Health and Safety Service is provided by a team of Health and Safety consultants who are supported by solicitors from our sister company Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

All our clients will be assigned a dedicated Health and Safety Consultant who knows you, your people and your business personally. In addition, you will also have access to Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ React Helpline, which gives you free access to the support you require 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Your Health and Safety Consultant will ensure that your health and safety management system is kept up-to-date with all health and safety legislation changes, and will be able to provide you with a range of services to support your managers on a day-to-day basis.

Key areas which we will support you with are:

  • Accidents, Incidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Reporting and Investigation
  • Asbestos Management
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) – Client
  • Consultation with Employees
  • Contractor Management
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
  • Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
  • Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations
  • Electrical Safety (General)
  • Fire Safety
  • First Aid
  • Information, Instruction and Training
  • Legionella
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment
  • Manual Handling Operations
  • Mobile Phones and Driving
  • Noise Control
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Pregnant Workers
  • Pressurised Systems
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment
  • Risk Assessment
  • Work at Height
  • Work-related Road Safety
  • Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare
  • Workplace Transport

This service is provided on a 2-year renewable contract basis. Fees are set according to the number of hours you need per month and are payable in fixed monthly instalments, enabling you to have complete transparency of cost and budget accordingly. Pay as you go terms are also available.

Social Media

With social media now part of everyday life and an increasingly important tool for business, ensuring that you have a clear set our guidelines for employees on what is and isn’t acceptable use is now considered an employment policy “must”.

Our policies cover the use of social media in and outside of work, business and private usage and dovetail into disciplinary procedures so you can be confident that swift action can be taken against an employee who contravenes your business’ acceptable usage.

Working Time Regulations

How you arrange working hours will have a significant impact on your business, and balancing performance of duties at work against responsibilities at home will have a bearing on staff productivity and engagement. We offer guidance on how your business can meet the requirements of the WTR entitlements

The legislation governing working hours, the Working Time Regulations, governs working hours for:

  • What qualifies as “working time” and “rest time”
  • limits on an average working week
  • statutory entitlement to paid leave
  • limits on the normal hours of night work and regular health assessments

This is a legally complex area and has been the subject of much recent case law, including holiday pay, travel time pay, sleep in pay, and associated claims under National Minimum Wage legislation. We can help you to navigate the complexities to ensure compliance with legal requirements.