When do I give my employees a contract?

contract of employment

You may be surprised to hear that you don’t actually need to provide a full contract of employment in writing but you do have to provide certain information in writing within 2 months of the employee commencing employment with you.  If you don’t, there is a risk of a legal claim against you.

You are legally obliged to provide the following in writing:-

  • Name of employer and employee.
  • Date employment and continuous employment started.
  • Job location.
  • Pay and whether it’s weekly, monthly etc.
  • Working hours.
  • Holiday entitlement.
  • Job description / job title.
  • Details of any collective agreement that directly affect the employee’s conditions of employment

The following information may be provided in other documents such as staff handbooks:

  • sick leave and pay entitlement
  • pensions and pension schemes
  • disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • appeals procedure under the disciplinary and grievance procedures

Remember a contact of employment still exists from when you verbally make that offer. The full contract of employment does not have to be written down, or signed, to still exist between you and your employee.  It is formed regardless. What you provide for the individual, your day to day dealings, your decisions, what you provide for your employees, employment practices, all set your contract.  And then it may be difficult to change.  So, whatever you start, make sure you are happy for it to be your permanent contractually terms regardless of whether it’s written down or not.  Ideally, you should think this through from the outset and set all your desired working practices and offerings in the form of written policies and procedures so that all parties know what to expect (Employee Handbook).  But at a minimum, you must provide at least the basic minimal legal requirements as listed above.

If you want to talk about your requirements through with us please ring our team of HR Consultants who will be happy to talk through these and other elements of the employment contract on 07989 343361 or email us on info@temehr.co.uk

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