With local lockdowns and the government’s latest response confirming home-working may continue into 2021, it’s important to consider whether your employment contracts, policies and practices are fit for purpose to deal with the ever-changing approach to working.
Here are our thoughts on a few of the key terms you’ll want to consider / update to ensure you create flexibility and commercial protection in these uncertain times:
Confidentiality – with the challenges that home-working brings, individuals considering jumping ship have a great opportunity to take your contact lists, marketing plans and pricing structures. Introducing or tightening up confidentiality and property clauses are a must at this time along with the right to monitor individuals’ use of your systems.
Lay-off/ short–time working – if your contract doesn’t include a lay-off or short-time working provision, now is the time to do something about it. With the furlough scheme coming to an end and the new Job Support Scheme requiring employees to work a third of their hours, including contractual lay-off and short-time working clauses provides you with greater flexibility to manage your workforce without having to ask for their consent to do so.
Post-termination restrictions – if they don’t explain that periods of absence will be discounted in determining the key relationships that are protected, you should review your restrictions. So often, restrictions explain that ‘stuff’ happening just before exit is protected (whether it’s relationships, sales or tenders) but if an individual has been on furlough, sick or on statutory leave, you’ll find that if nothing has been going on just prior to exit then nothing will be protected! With the appropriate amendments to post-termination restrictions this can be avoided.
Click here for more information about our contract review and redraft packages.