It’s safe to say I’ve seen a few employment contracts in my time! A non-compliant employment contract can be expensive – a tribunal can award up to four weeks’ pay for each out-of-date contract you’re using.
Key areas of compliance for employment contracts were introduced in 1996 by the Employment Rights Acts…there’s no excuse for getting those elements wrong! More recently in 2020, the Good Work Plan added more red tape with further compliance requirements which employers have been slow to adopt. Here are the top five areas I’ll see regularly missing from employment contracts:
Any paid leave the employee benefits from (maternity or paternity leave, for example)
Details of all remuneration and benefits (such as enhanced maternity pay or private medical insurance)
Training requirements for the role, whether they’re mandatory, and who will pay for the training
Whether working hours are variable (or not as the case may be)
The correct statutory minimum notice employees are entitled to (one week for each complete year they’ve worked for you, up to a maximum of 12 weeks)
Reference to these areas needs to be included within the contract, even if they don’t apply. If there is no training requirement for example, you need to say as much.
Contact me here if you’d like me to support you with reviewing your employment contracts. A review can cost as little as £500+VAT and save you considerable expense and reputational damage if you’re relying on out-of-date contracts.
This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.
2023-05-25T13:18:53+00:00Posted On: May 4th, 2023By Stefan Mars|
If you’re looking to make changes to employment contracts and an employee refuses those changes, one approach you can take is to terminate their employment and rehire them on the new terms. A new statutory code of practice is to be introduced (date to be confirmed) providing greater governance over this approach.
What will the new code mean in practice? The detail is yet to be announced – all the government have said is that the intention is to provide practical steps for employers to follow to ensure they engage in meaningful consultation when changing terms and conditions are changed. If employers fail to follow the code tribunals will have more clout when issuing compensation. This will mean:
Tribunals will need to take into account whether an employer has followed the code and employers should be ready to evidence that they have done so; and
Tribunals may apply a 25% uplift in compensation if an employer unreasonably fails to comply with the code.
The new code will not be an outright ban on the use of ‘fire and rehire’ meaning it will remain an option for employers to change contractual terms where voluntary agreement is not possible or there is no other alternative.
There’s always lots to consider when making changes to contracts – getting the right advice can help to minimise as much risk as possible. Get in touch for our support.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (03 May 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.