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What should an employment contract have in it?

All employers must issue a statement of key terms to all employees, as required by the Employment Rights Act 1996. This is required to be issued within two months of starting employment and is known as a ‘Section 1 statement’ (although it is preferable to issue these terms before an employee starts work).

The minimum ‘section 1 statement’ includes details of: identity of employer, employment start date(s), job title, place of work, salary, hours of work, holidays, incapacity, termination and notice, disciplinary and grievance procedures, pensions and collective agreements.

Our HR consultants work with businesses to prepare the right type of contract designed to protect you as an employer against potential issues. For some roles, the minimum ‘section 1 statement’ is fine. For many other roles, we recommend the inclusion of some additional provisions designed to protect your business interests such as: confidential information, intellectual property, data protection and company property. This forms the basis of a more detailed employment contract.

For more senior roles, where the risks associated with an issue can be even greater, we work with our clients to understand the specific risks for your business and may include further provisions such as: post-termination restrictions (restrictive covenants), obligations on termination, and director clauses. Typically, the more senior the role, the more complex the contract.

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