I’m worried our employment contracts are out of date, help!

You’re a busy leader or entrepreneur turning your ideas into reality. You’re growing your business, you’ve started hiring, but you haven’t got around to getting some proper employment contracts written. The great news is that it’s relatively straightforward to get robust employment contracts in place, providing clarity for your employees, and protection for your business. But why are they so important?

In this article we’ll help you understand the risk of not focusing on your people documentation, which we believe to be a key element of growing your team.

This year we have seen several private members’ bills progressing through parliament and recently we had the Employment Law update in April, so having up-to-date employment contracts is important for several reasons:

Legal compliance: Employment laws and regulations can change over time, and it’s crucial to ensure that employment contracts align with the current legal requirements.

Clarity and certainty: Employment contracts provide clarity and define the rights, obligations, and expectations of both employers and employees. By keeping contracts up to date this reduces ambiguity and potential misunderstandings.

Protection of rights: Employment contracts outline the rights and protections of both parties, ensuring that employees receive the entitlements and benefits they are entitled to and that employers have the necessary tools to manage the employment relationship effectively.

Adaptation to changing circumstances: Over time, circumstances within a business may change, such as organizational restructuring, changes in job roles or responsibilities, or modifications in compensation and benefits.

Mitigation of disputes: Well-drafted and up-to-date employment contracts can help prevent disputes by clearly defining the terms and conditions of the employment relationship. In the event of a dispute, having an updated contract provides a clear reference point to resolve conflicts and disagreements more efficiently.

Compliance with industry standards: Some industries have specific regulations or requirements that need to be addressed in employment contracts. By keeping contracts up to date, employers can ensure compliance with industry-specific standards and regulations.

Protection of confidential information: Employment contracts often include confidentiality provisions to safeguard sensitive company information.

Regularly reviewing and updating contracts is essential to ensure that they accurately reflect the current employment relationship and legal landscape.

There are several different types of employment contracts that can be used, depending on the nature of the employment relationship and specific circumstances and having the right one in place for each employee is crucial, here are some common types that we have produced for our clients:

Updating Contracts

Permanent/Full-Time Employment Contract: This is the most common type of employment contract, where an employee is hired on a permanent basis to work full-time hours.

Fixed-Term Employment Contract: In this type of contract, the employment is for a specified period of time. It has a defined start and end date, indicating the duration of the employment relationship. Fixed-term contracts are often used for temporary or project-based work where the need for the employee’s services is expected to be temporary.

Part-Time Employment Contract: Part-time employment contracts are used when an employee is hired to work fewer hours than a full-time employee. These contracts typically outline the specific working hours and days of the week the employee will be required to work, as well as the corresponding compensation and benefits.

Casual Employment Contract: Casual contracts are commonly used for irregular or intermittent work arrangements. The employee is not guaranteed a set number of hours or a regular schedule. Casual employees are typically paid on an hourly basis and may not receive the same benefits as permanent or part-time employees.

Zero-Hours Contract: In a zero-hours contract, the employer does not guarantee any minimum number of working hours to the employee. The employee is called in to work as and when required by the employer. The contract typically stipulates that the employee is not obliged to accept work when offered, and the employer is not obliged to offer work.

A key point to note is that getting your employment contracts in order won’t cost you the earth. The cost of not having robust people documentation is far greater to your business, so don’t put it off any longer – your people and your business will thank you for it.

If you’d like help from experienced HR consultants to review or create employment contracts to protect your business and banish the admin headaches that come with growing your team, we can help – take a look at our ‘Brilliant Basics’ People Documentation Packages.

If you don’t quite see a match with what you need there, get in touch, as we can tailor our support to suit you.