A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and an employee which sets out the rights and obligations of each party during (and following the termination of) the employment relationship.
The content of the contract of employment will depend upon the nature of the business and the role of the employee. However, there are certain employment terms that must be given to the employee in writing, and these would usually be found in the contract of employment. Some of these terms include:
- The date on which the employee’s period of continuous employment began
- Pay (or method of calculating it) and interval of payment
- Hours of work
- Holiday entitlement and holiday pay
- Job title (or a brief description of the work)
- Place of work, and
- Notice periods for termination of employment
Employment Policies & Procedures
In addition to the contract of employment, it is good practice for employers to have written policies and procedures in place. These should be non-contractual ‘rules’ which set out the standards expected of the workers, and reduce the risk of an employment dispute by ensuring that workers and managers understand their rights and responsibilities.
Some policies are fundamental, and are required by all businesses. These can include policies on equality, disciplinary and grievances, health and safety, sickness and capability, IT and communications. Other policies are optional and depend upon the type of business and its needs, such as an adverse weather policy.
Policies and procedures in the workplace should be clear, user-friendly and easy to understand for your employees. They should be drafted to suit your organisation’s own circumstances. Whilst there is no requirement to agree or consult with your staff over the content of policies and procedures, it is good practice to do so in some circumstances. For example, ACAS recommends that staff are involved in the development of disciplinary and grievance rules and procedures.
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