Get ready for employment contract changes

Just before the Christmas break the government announced changes to the information which will need to be included in employment contracts.  Employers are also going to need to provide specific information about an employee’s hours and days of work (and any variation to those hours), probationary rules and time periods, entitlements to training and entitlements to other benefits and paid leave.

Employers are also going to have to be more organised – at the moment, there is a window of 2 months from the start of employment within which employers need to give new staff a copy of the minimum terms and conditions, from next year, the documents will need to be given to employees before they start work. 

Whilst the rules set out the minimum information which you need to provide to your employees, we often advise our clients to include some additional provisions in their template contracts.  For example, if you want the ability to deduct money from an employee’s wages to cover things like overpayments, loans or staff purchases, then you need the employee’s agreement and the contract is a convenient place to include this. In addition, legal minimum rules about the protection of confidential business information provide little comfort to employers and to protect business secrets after employment or to prevent your employee from trying to poach your customers or staff, you need something extra in place.  We’re happy to review your current templates or give them a complete overhaul if that’s what needed.  Either way, we make sure that the contracts you have are appropriate for your business and the industry you work in, but avoiding unwanted legal jargon.

The new rules will come in from 6 April next year and will apply to any new staff employed from that date onwards.  There’s no need to give existing employees an updated statement of terms of employment unless they specifically ask for it – in which case you’ll have to provide it within a month.

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