Having written policies gives both parties certainty and can be the difference between a simple matter of referring to a contract for the answer to a dispute, or drawn out and expensive litigation trying to determine whether there has been a breach of an employees’ rights.
It is important that any person who has employees has at least a basic contract of employment outlining each party’s obligations to the other. Not only is failing to provide a contract a breach of an employees’ rights, it can cause significant problems if there is ever a dispute.
These documents also need reviewing regularly to take into account the regular changes to employment legislation and the development of your business and its workforce.
Each employment contract should, where possible, be tailored to the individual and their job role rather than simply applying the same contract to everyone. This can help to cut the risks of future disputes, and some clauses such as post-employment restrictive covenants will only apply to some staff. An employer also needs to be sure that such covenants are reasonable and enforceable.
If the role of a member of staff changes, perhaps as a result of promotion or the introduction of flexible working arrangements, their contract should be amended to reflect their altered role, responsibilities and duties.
Our specialist employment law solicitors work with businesses of all sizes, putting in place robust contracts for staff at all levels. These documents are key to protecting the employers’ rights regarding commercially sensitive and confidential information both during and after the employment relationship has ended.
Mergers, Acquisitions, Disposals & TUPE
Any organisational restructure involving employees – whether it is the result of a re-organisation, merger, acquisition or disposal – will require careful consideration of the employees’ rights and involves a number of key employment issues.
Our employment solicitors specialise in advising clients on issues such as collective consultation, multiple redundancies, the relevance of TUPE and any employment issues connected with insolvency. In addition to the traditional business transfer the TUPE regulations also apply in cases of out-sourcing contracts, including re-tendering, and taking services back in-house.
Staff handbooks should set out all the information that employees need to know about a company’s rules, policies and procedures. Issues covered can include the company dress code; equal opportunities; claiming expenses; disciplinary procedures; homeworking; health and safety; maternity, paternity, parental and bereavement leave; data protection; absence from work and whistleblowing.
A clearly-drafted staff handbook can be a useful tool in staff management including dealing with any issues regarding poor performance or conduct.