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Many employers don’t realise that you can establish a contract of employment with an individual simply by having them do work for you and paying them in return.  A contract of employment does not have to be in writing, and its terms can simply be established by a course of conduct over a period of time between employer and employee.

However, there are good reasons to commit an employment contract to writing.

For more information, or to speak to an expert about your employment contracts and service agreements, call Gorvins Solicitors on 0161 930 5117, e-mail or fill in our online enquiry form.

Gorvins Approach to Employment Contracts

Whilst we appreciate the sense in keeping certain aspects of an employment relationship as informal as possible, the risk associated with not committing at least the key terms in writing far outweighs the benefit of “keeping things simple”.

Not committing employment terms in writing could mean an employee lawfully leaving your employment without giving notice and before poaching all your customers, clients, business or staff.  Similarly, without written terms dealing with things like holidays, sick pay, deductions from pay and more, you could have far less freedom than you think concerning your staff.

When drafting employment contracts, one size does not necessarily fit all. That’s why we work with you to ensure your employment documentation is fit for purpose. With our help, your employment contracts will contain all the detail you need to reflect your priorities and will be drafted in plain common-sense terms.

Changes to Terms in Existing Contracts

Even if you have existing contracts, it may be necessary to make changes from time to time, whether to reflect changes within the workplace or to keep up-to-date with changing legislation. However, making lawful changes to existing contracts may not be as simple as issuing a new contract and expecting it to be agreed upon.

Imposing new contractual terms without seeking advice beforehand can carry the risk of unfair constructive dismissal claims or simply mean that the new terms will not be effective.  Should you need advice about changing your existing employment terms, we can help and assist with any necessary consultation and implementation process.  We will ensure this process is as hassle and stress-free as possible, for both you and your staff.

How Can Gorvins Help?

Our employment contract solicitors will handle all your legal issues as quickly and efficiently as possible, allowing you to concentrate on what is most important, running your business.

If you need assistance with employment contracts or changes to your service agreements, contact Gorvins Solicitors on 0161 930 5117, e-mail or fill in our online enquiry form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of having an employment contract?

An employment contract protects you and your business by setting out what’s expected from your employees and you as an employer. For example, an employment contract could make stipulations about what your employee can and can’t do when they leave your employment, protecting you from ex-employees poaching clients and/or staff from your business.

Is it a legal requirement to have an employment contract in place?

While there is no legal requirement to provide a written contract of employment, there are multiple risks associated with not doing so. To protect your business, your clients and your employees, it’s best practice to provide clear contractual guidelines to all your staff.

Furthermore, it is a legal requirement to provide a written statement of particulars of employment (known as a ‘section 1 statement’) providing the employee with details such as hours of work, holiday entitlement, place of work, job title, disciplinary procedures etc…

Since April 2020 the required contents of this statement have become much more detailed. It, therefore, makes sense to simply incorporate the section 1 statement details into a more comprehensive contract which will provide the Employer with all the protection it requires in addition to supplying the information that an employee is entitled to in the section 1 statement.

How can a solicitor help with an employment contract?

As well as advising on all the legal aspects of an employment contract, a good solicitor can help you avoid costly mistakes and develop a contract that’s tailored to your business, not some one-size-fits-all document that leaves you open to problems down the line.

This is particularly important when considering contractual terms that are designed to protect your business both during the course of an employee’s employment and afterwards. Restrictions on what your employees can do after they leave your employment can be notoriously difficult to enforce before the courts.

Unless such restrictions are carefully drafted with your specific business in mind so as to be able to demonstrate to a court’s satisfaction that they are no more than is reasonably necessary to protect your legitimate business interests, you will run the risk of such provisions being held to be in restraint of trade and unenforceable,

Meet the Employment Law team

  • David Rogers

    Partner & Head of Employment

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  • Amanda Isherwood

    Associate Solicitor

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