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Is a Contract of Employment a Legal Requirement?

Clients often ask if it is necessary to give their employees a contract of employment. Especially some businesses with a very small number of employees.

The answer is yes! All employees and workers are entitled to a written statement of terms. The law also changed in April 2020 to make this a right from day 1 of employment. Therefore, it is a great idea to have your employee contracts written and ready for new recruits either prior to, or when they start with you.

There are certain terms that you need to make clear in this document, such as their job title, salary, place and hours of work and their start date.

Different contracts may also require additional information. For example, if you issued a Fixed Term Contract, there would be an agreed end date to the employment and that would need to be written in the terms in addition to the start date.

Additionally, there are some other pieces of information that the employee is entitled to, such as details of your pension scheme, which you don’t need to put in the written terms on day one, but do need to issue within two months. This additional information might be provided on a separate policy or procedure document.

Irrespective of the legal guidelines, having clarity and agreeing terms of employment is the best way to start a professional relationship with your new employee. If both parties are clear about what they can expect from each other, then it starts to build a platform for trust and communication which is vital for great working relationships.

For more support, or for a chat about your business and employees reach me via LinkedIn or at [email protected] .