Why are contracts of employment so important? 

Whilst you don't necessarily always need to have written contracts of employment, it can save you considerable time and money if you make use of well written contracts. Once your verbal offer of employment has been accepted, you have a legally binding contract. It's just a bit vague until you write it down. A written contract which clearly sets out the terms and conditions of the employment can save a lot of confusion for you and your employee.  
The law does require that you provide your new employee with a written statement of their particulars of employment within two months, and it is common for this be included in a contract of employment. If your employee declines to sign their contract of employment, a separate statement containing the information must be issued to comply with the law. 
The statement must include: 
Names of the employer and employee 
date the employment began 
where the job is located 
hours of work 
holiday and sick pay entitlement 
a job title and description 
details of pay and frequency 
notice period 
any pension provisions 

Do I need an Employment Solicitor to prepare my employment contracts? 

Like staff handbooks, many firms make contracts too complicated, meaning employees and even managers skim read them or don't understand the full impact. This results in unnecessary dispute, which could be avoided by using clear terms in plain English.  
 
The wording of your contracts is very important and could leave your company open to financial loss if they haven’t been professionally prepared by an Employment Law specialist. Each year we deal with legal challenges to contracts of employment that could have been avoided with professional help. 
 
For example, many contracts contain restrictive covenants to prevent former employees using information or connections they gained at your business to benefit your competitors. However, a tribunal may refuse to uphold restrictive covenants that are poorly drafted, ambiguous or unreasonably restrictive. In the 2018 High Court case Freshasia Foods Ltd v Jing Lu, a company claimed they had lost around £200,000 worth of business when one of their employees left them to work for a competitor. The business tried to enforce a covenant intended to prevent the former employee from poaching customers, but the court found that the covenant was unreasonably restrictive. Only the reasonable elements of the clause could be upheld, but the court had to consider whether the restrictive covenant would make sense with the overly restrictive parts removed (severance). How well the clause was drafted was central to success or failure of the claim.  
 

How we can help with Employment Contracts 

Our contracts are prepared with your specific needs in mind. We will consult with you to learn about the needs of your business, and tailor employment contracts to best benefit your organisation. We can draft contracts for roles of all levels across your business.  
 
All of our contracts are written in plain English to make them easy to read and understand. This can avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and disputes, saving you time and money in tribunal claims. 
Prepare new employment contracts for your business 
Review your existing employment contracts 
Support you in a dispute about an employment contract 

Get in touch 

Do you have a legal matter you'd like to discuss with us? Get in touch using the details below or use the form here and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your enquiry. 
Phone: 0121 452 5130 
Address: Spencer Shaw Solicitors Limited 
Vancouver House, 111 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8LB 
Opening hours: 
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM 
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays - Closed 
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