When you work for an organisation, it is critical you understand the terms of your employment contract, and that it correctly reflects any agreement relating to your roles and responsibilities, not to mention your pay and benefits.
The terms of your contract may even affect your onward career if you choose to leave the employer you’re contracted to, and seek work elsewhere.
Understanding the terms of your employment contract
We can review employment contracts, directors’ service agreements, share schemes, bonus terms and consultancy agreements, both at offer stage and at the beginning of your employment. If there are proposed changes, we can take an expert look to ensure the terms are legally correct and offer you the best protection as an employee. We can also advise on your employee status if this is unclear, so you know precisely which rights you’re entitled to and how they apply.
We can also advise on your entitlement to family-related leave, such as for maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave – plus pay and time off to care for dependents, and your right to request flexible working.
How contractual terms can affect sector-specific career paths
It’s natural that on leaving a role with one employer, you may want to stay within the same sector and go to work for a competitor – or continue working with long-standing clients or customers you developed relationships with while working for your previous employer. This is potentially tricky ground, as your previous employer is to some degree entitled to protect its relationships and business interests. You may be subject to post-termination restriction clauses (also known as restrictive covenants) that prevent you from taking clients or intellectual property with you.
It can be a complex to navigate, but we provide detailed guidance about such restrictions to ensure you fully understand what you can and cannot do once your role comes to an end with your current employer. We can also help you negotiate restriction clauses and advise you on their enforceability.
What if you’ve already secured your next role, or started your own business, in the same sector?
You may have already accepted a job offer from a competitor of your current or recent employer, or have even started working for them. Or you may have started your own business and essentially represent competition to your previous employer.
If so, we provide expert guidance on handling any correspondence from a former employer challenging you on your actions, and can help you get the results you need.
Some examples of our contracts and agreements work includes:
advising two veterinary practitioners leaving a national practice to set up their own business
advising directors and shareholders leaving one national business for senior roles with a competitor
reviewing several CEO contracts, including one for a client taking up a key new role in London
providing expert advice on entitlement to enhanced holiday pay for someone paid significant commission as part of their salary
advising someone who’d been paid as a volunteer on whether they would be considered an employee or worker by law
bringing claims in a Tribunal and County Court for a long history of unlawful deductions