What should be included in an employment contract?

A contract of employment is an agreement specifying the terms and conditions under which a person consents to perform certain duties as directed and controlled by an employer in return for an agreed upon wage or salary.

A contract is an agreement that sets out an employee’s:

  • employment conditions
  • rights
  • responsibilities
  • duties

The purpose of an employment contract is to ensure that both the employer and employee have a clear understanding of what is expected during the term of employment, whilst also serving to eliminate any disputes which may arise at a later date. 

An employment contract does not have to be written, but often is and recommended to avoid any future disputes or misunderstandings.

The employer must provide the principal statement on the first day of employment and the wider written statement within 2 months of the start of employment. 

The principal statement should include at least:

  • the employer’s name
  • the employee’s or worker’s name, address, job title or a description of work and start date
  • how much and how often an employee or worker will get paid
  • hours and days of work and if and how they may vary
  • holiday entitlement (and if that includes public holidays)
  • where an employee or worker will be working and whether they might have to relocate
  • if an employee or worker works in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is
  • how long a job is expected to last (and what the end date is if it’s a fixed-term contract)
  • how long any probation period is and what its conditions are
  • any other benefits (for example, childcare vouchers and lunch)
  • obligatory training, whether or not this is paid for by the employer

On the first day of employment the employer must also provide the employee or worker with information about:

  • sick pay and procedures
  • other paid leave (for example, maternity leave and paternity leave)
  • notice periods

The wider written statement

Employers must give employees and workers a wider written statement within 2 months of the start of employment. This must include information about:

  • pensions and pension schemes
  • collective agreements 
  • any other right to non-compulsory training provided by the employer
  • disciplinary and grievance procedures

I am not a HR professional but can introduce you to those that are and who can help you produce the employment contract that is relevant for your business.

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