Contracts of Employment
Every employee is entitled by law to receive a written statement of employment particulars. Failure to provide this can sometimes lead to a financial award in favour of the employee.
In the case of senior employees it may make sense for an employer to put in place more detailed employment provisions. Examples might include:-
- Mobility – giving the employer the right to alter the employees place of work.
- Confidentiality – imposing restrictions on the use of information (both during and following termination of employment) which is important to the business
- Restraint of trade – imposing restrictions upon the employee in relation to their entitlement to work in competition with the business after termination of the contract.
A contract of employment is also a very useful way of clearly setting out the basis of the agreement between the parties. For example what exactly amounts to misconduct justifying dismissal?
A contractual obligation such as a restraint of trade may be enforced by civil proceedings seeking injunctions/compensation. Courts are cautious about upholding these clauses and professional advice as to their drafting and enforcement is vital.
All employers are now subject to statutory obligations in relation to a host of matters such as equal opportunities (sex, race, disability, religion, age and so on). Employers can be “vicariously” liable for the wrongful actions of employees (one example being inappropriate use of email/internet). It is wise to have in place a Staff Handbook containing policies to deal with these situations – and, just as importantly, to ensure that your staff are trained on the provisions contained within this Handbook and how to use it.
Lawson Lewis Blakers are able to provide expert advice as to:-
- Drafting/advising in relation to employment contracts
- Preparation and use of Staff Handbook/staff appraisals and management of personnel issues
- Enforcement of contracts of employment (on behalf of either employer or employee) on termination of employment
- The negotiation necessary to safely terminate contracts of employment by compromise / settlement agreements.
We can help you instruct Human Resource Specialists, Occupational Health teams, Performance coaches or others who might help you.