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Employment Contracts Solicitors – Advice for Employers

Sound employment contracts do more than just set out the agreement between employer and employee – they provide both parties with certainty regarding their rights and responsibilities and minimise the risk of disputes and disagreements.

A well-drafted employment contract will mean that you are compliant with the law and also ensure that your employee knows exactly what is expected of them. By setting this out in detail, you can avoid misunderstandings and set good standards for your employees from the start.

As well as detailed and bespoke contracts of employment, comprehensive employment policies and handbooks will also contribute to a solid legal foundation for your employee relationships.

At Stephen Rimmer Solicitors, our employment law team works for businesses across a wide range of sectors, putting robust employment documentation in place to protect employers and offer a sound legal footing for their employment dealings.

We know what to look for when drafting the right employment contract for an employer, and we will work with you to identify the key issues, ensuring that you have the flexibility you need for your business as well as the certainty of knowing that you can rely on the legal terms agreed with your employees.

How we can help with employment contract advice for employers

With in-depth experience of working with employers across a variety of industries, our employment team offer expertise in all areas of employment contract law, including the following:

  • Drafting employment contracts, including complex contracts for senior employees, executives and directors
  • Drafting employer policies
  • Drafting employee handbooks
  • Negotiating employment contracts on your behalf
  • Advice on the terms of employment contracts
  • Advising in respect of breaches of employment contracts
  • Enforcing a contract of employment
  • Associated legal documentation, for example, in respect of employee shareholders
  • Settlement agreements to end an employment contract

Consult our employment contracts solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

For clear, expert employment contract advice, please contact a member of our employment law team for a no obligation discussion:

For more information in respect of our services, see employment law for employers.

Employment contract FAQs

There are four main types of employment contract:

  • Permanent employment contracts, for those who work regular hours, both full-time and part-time and paid on a salaried basis or on an hourly-rate basis.
  • Fixed-term employment contracts, often used for contractors and freelancers who take on work for a set period of time.
  • Casual employment contracts, a flexible contract where the employee will usually commit to working a minimum number of hours per week or month, but without specifying when these will be worked.
  • Zero-hours contracts, with no obligation on either side to either provide work or to carry out work. Employees have some statutory rights, although they are generally fewer than workers on the other three types of employment contracts.

If an employer gives work to an employee and agrees to pay for this work, then an employment contract exists, even if it has not been put in writing.

Employers need to provide written statements of employment particulars to all workers on the day they commence work. This will need to include most of the basic details of the employment, including rate of pay, frequency of pay, hours to be worked, holiday, benefits, notice period and a short description of the work to be done.

An employment contract should be comprehensive and tailored to the particular position it relates to. The following express terms should be included:

  • Employer and employee names and addresses
  • The place of work
  • Hours to be worked
  • The amount and frequency of pay
  • Holiday pay
  • Sick pay
  • Holiday entitlement
  • The date on which the employment is to start and the date on which the contract will take effect
  • The job title or a short description of the employee’s duties
  • Continuous service dates
  • Notice period
  • Pension contributions
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures (this could refer to a separate handbook or policy document or Acas Code of Practice)
  • Collective agreements
  • When a fixed-term or temporary contract will end

There are a substantial number of other terms that are frequently included to provide a comprehensive contract. These include issues such as:

  • Restrictions on working anywhere else
  • Health and safety requirements
  • What is permitted in respect of flexible working
  • Requirements in respect of remote working
  • Keeping information confidential
  • Rules and procedures that the employee is expected to abide by, which could be included in an employee handbook or separate policy document
  • Details of the employer’s right to dismiss without notice
  • How the employee could be suspended
  • How intellectual property will be treated

Other clauses can be drafted that are tailored to the specific job, and that protect the employer’s rights and interests. By having a robust contract drawn up by expert employment lawyers, you stand the best possible chance of avoiding legal difficulties in the future as your employees will understand clearly where they stand and what responsibilities and restrictions exist.

An employer cannot change the terms of an employment contract unless the employee or their trade union representative agrees.

If you wish to change an employment contract as an employer, you can negotiate to see whether an agreement can be reached, for example, by offering financial compensation. We can advise you on making an offer to your employees and how you might go about altering a contract if they are amenable to change.

You will need to explain to the employees what effect the proposed changes will have. The employee should be given time to consider the proposals and be allowed to make alternative suggestions.

There are numerous ways in which an employee could breach their employment contract, including failure to do their job as required, gross misconduct or breach of express terms such as a restrictive covenant preventing them from working for someone else.

The employer has several options, including dismissing the employee if the breach is fundamental, suing the employee if the employer has sustained a financial loss and asking the court to grant an injunction preventing the employee from working for a competitor in breach of the contract terms.

Our employment contracts pricing

We always aim to offer excellent legal advice and outstanding client service at a competitive rate. We know that keeping to a budget is important for businesses, and we will make sure that our likely costs are clear from the start.

For certain matters, we offer fixed fees so that you will know exactly how much the costs will be. Where fixed fees are not possible, we will advise you of the hourly rates of the lawyers who will be working on your case and give you an estimate of the amount at the outset so that you have a realistic idea of what you will be charged.

Speak to our employment contracts solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team advises employers all across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To find out how we can help with employment contract advice, please contact our expert team now:

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.