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5 common mistakes when using a Contract of Employment

Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

Note: this article was first written by our colleagues at Solve HR, before Solve HR joined Law At Work in March 2020. We have imported this...

1. Lack of existing flexibility Unless both parties are in agreements the terms and conditions of your Contract of Employment cannot be changed. Due to recent case law, employment contracts require the existing flexibility for future clause changes e.g. Disciplinary Procedures, Pensions etc. The best way to succeed with this, is to include a small clause in the contract referring to a Company Policy held separately or within a Company Handbook. These are non-contractual policies and procedures and can therefore be altered to meet current legislation or reflect your business needs. 2. Creating a template for your Contracts of Employment - but not utilising them correctly Creating different 'templates' for your Contracts of Employment is much better than having one 'template' for all staff. For example; if you had sales staff you may want to leverage a restrictive covenant, however other members of staff may not require this, so remembering to remove this where necessary is easily forgotten. By having template contracts for specific job roles it is a more accurate and efficient way of ensuring mistakes are not made. 3. Failure to regularly review Contracts of Employment Contracts of Employment should be reviewed on a regular basis. Employment Law is always evolving and it is important to ensure all your Contracts of Employment are up to date. 4. Failure to adhere to the Contract of Employment For example, paying employees sick pay when they are not entitled to it results in an implicit contracted term of employment. Therefore you are overwriting, so to speak, your written terms through practice. 5. Not completing properly Most contracts of employment are derived from templates, care must be given in completing the blanks! Ensuring the correct start date, in particular; year of employment, and things such as working hours can be the difference between a payout at tribunal, or otherwise.

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