Employment Contracts, Policies & Handbooks
Business-like employment contracts, policies and handbooks make good business sense for any employer. These set out the expectations and responsibilities, they are clear about what’s acceptable and unacceptable, basically, they say ‘this is how things work around here, and this is specifically what we will do, and this is what you are required to do’. If you think about it in those terms, it’s easy to see how these are sound business tools that you will look back to over and over to deal with HR issues.
There is a range of documentation that is either required or recommended for businesses employing people. These range from the legally required contract of employment* and it’s many options (eg full-time, flexi-time, zero-hours [Note, this is subject to consultation in 2013], casual, term-time, and what about clauses for social media, claw backs, garden leave, PILON…), and move on to the optional documents such as staff handbook, and any number of polices and procedures. The right selection of correctly drafted, business focused documents will be beneficial to a company. We can advise what is the best contract for the role, and the business.
Whatever you decide on, beyond the legally required Contract of employment*, a company’s policies and handbook work together to set out what the company expects from its employees, and what the employee can expect from the company. They form the written foundation of the employment terms and relationship. It makes better business sense to have things in writing, than to allow things to slide into place through custom & practice which leaves a business in the worst and weakest position and things that are ‘known’ because ‘it’s what I’ve always done’.
* In some places you will see a Statement of Particulars (SoP) referred to. Generally, this is a document setting out the briefest legal requirements when hiring people and is of limited value to a business other that a ‘tick box’ exercise in legal compliance. This will not contain the clauses that are relevant & suitable to your company which will from the outset support and protect your company. With only a SoP in place a company will more likely be continually reacting from a position of disadvantage when managing employees. We think it’s a bit like having Third Party car insurance when you drive a brand new £100,000 car.
These are the kind of things we’ve dealt with:
- Employees are in post, some for a number of years, and no contacts have ever been issued.
- Freebie Statement of Particulars / Contracts were issued but they’re proving costly as they don’t have many of the specific clauses needed to protect the business, or meet today’s working world – it feels like your hands are tied.
- An employee is refusing to do a task or duty on the basis that they don’t have a contract, or it’s not in their contract.
- A new employee has started and is demanding a contract – and you don’t know where to start.
- The company needs business-like policies or a Handbook that sets out the Company rules in a clear unambiguous way for employees.
How We Can Help
- We can suggest things you may never have thought of.
- We have experience of proving a range of employment related documentation into businesses of varying sizes and in varying industries.
- We’ll ensure the legally required detail is in place, but discuss the scope to draw up these documents to suit your business, from a standard permanent contract through to a contract for services for any freelance resources you bring in.
- We help you work through the numerous options of policy and procedure documents helping you to select the right ones that make sense for your business type and size.
Call us at the office on 0845 463 3231 for an informal discussion about how we can help your business.