Employment Contracts for Employers

Employment contracts are an essential component of the relationship employers have with their employees, providing both parties with clarity over their rights and responsibilities. Every employer should have employment contracts in place for their staff, including a handbook and policies that cover everything from disciplinary or grievance issues to social media use.

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For employers, having carefully drafted employment contracts in place ensures that you remain fully compliant with current employment laws and that your employees know exactly what is expected of them.  A lack of clarity in the contract terms will usually lead to problems arising and can see financial awards being made against employers.

At Anderson Strathern, our employment contract solicitors are regularly called upon by clients who are seeking general advice on employment contracts, as well as to resolve any disputes that may have arisen.

No matter the size of your business, we can help in drafting employment contracts and HR policies for your organisation and your employees. We have the right expertise to help guide you through this process and answer any queries you have.

We also understand that disputes regarding employment contracts may arise, which may end up before the Employment Tribunal if they cannot be resolved directly with the employee.

Our team regularly represent clients across the UK in cases before the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal and, when required, the Court of Session and the Supreme Court. The breadth of our client base and experience means that we are well placed to advise on all aspects of employment law, from the basic to the most complex of cases.

Speak to our employment contract solicitors today

If you’re looking for employment contract advice, get in touch with our expert lawyers today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland, or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

Our expertise with employment contracts

Drafting employment contracts

Drafting an employment contract from scratch can be a complicated process, especially as the potential consequences of a minor detail being overlooked could be significant. As such, our employment law solicitors can work alongside you to draft employment law contracts on your behalf, creating bespoke documents that establish a strong and clear foundation for your relationship with your employees.

We have experience in drafting employment contracts, policies and employee handbooks for a wide range of clients operating in a variety of sectors, so have the necessary expertise to support your business.

Reviewing employment contracts

It may be the case that you already have employment contracts in place but are unsure as to whether they are appropriate, or you have concerns that they could leave you in a vulnerable position as an employer.

Our team can review any existing employment contracts you have in place, helping you to identify any key issues that may be in place and making suggestions that can help to firm up your relationship with your employees.

Advising on breach of employment contracts

Breach of contract is not an uncommon occurrence, which is why the need for an efficient response is of paramount importance.

Our team can advise you in relation to a breach of employment contract, for example, if an employee is guilty of gross misconduct, breaching a restrictive covenant or resigning without providing proper notice as required under the contract. Depending on the circumstances, the approach taken will vary.

Resolving employment contract disputes

When a dispute arises concerning an employment contract, it is important to find a swift and efficient resolution to save time, money and additional stress. If you are involved in a contractual dispute with an employee, our team can advise you on the best approach to take, including taking steps to negotiate a settlement out of court.

If a case proceeds to the Employment Tribunal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the Court of Session or the Supreme Court, our employment law solicitors can provide robust representation to ensure your interests are firmly protected and that you have the support you need to achieve a positive outcome.

What employers need to know about employment contracts

What are the key requirements of the contract of employment?

While every employment contract should be unique and tailored to the needs of the business, there are certain terms which need to be included. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The names of the employer and employee
  • The job title
  • Description of work
  • Start date
  • Payment terms
  • Hours and days of work
  • Holiday entitlements
  • Type of contract
  • Probation and notice periods
  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Sick pay
  • Pension contributions

Does an employment contract need to be in writing?

Yes. An employer needs to provide a written statement of terms of employment on or before the employee’s first day of employment.

Does an employment contract need to be signed?

For an employment contract to be considered valid, it does not necessarily need to be signed. Employment contracts can be verbally agreed or simply implied through conduct.

This means, that even if a contract has not been officially signed by an employee, it can still be considered legally binding and be seen as acceptance of the terms set out.

Can employers change the terms of an employment contract?

It is possible for an employer to change the terms of an employment contract. However, any changes must be agreed with the employee or their trade union representative. If the employee or their trade union representative does not agree to the changes, then legally, the terms cannot be changed.  Any agreed changes to the contract should also be recorded in writing.

What is an indemnity clause?

An indemnity clause can be written into a contract to help manage risks attached to a contract. They are essentially put in place to make one party pay for a loss suffered by the other. When an indemnity clause is triggered, the indemnifying party pays the costs and fees incurred by the indemnified party.

What is a force majeure clause?

A force majeure clause is a provision that excuses one or both parties from their role or obligations due to an extraordinary event that directly prevents one or both parties from performing their obligations under the contract.

What is a boilerplate clause in a contract?

A boilerplate clause is a standard section in an employment contract that is typically found at the beginning or end of the document. It will normally outline certain conditions to which the parties must adhere, such as how problems and disputes will be resolved.

What is recital clause?

Recital clauses are introductory statements which appear at the beginning of an employment contract prior to any other operative clauses. They establish the parties, the date of the contract and the purpose of the contract. They do not describe any details about the employment.

Why work with our employment law solicitors?

Our highly experienced team of employment law solicitors in Scotland have established a strong expertise in employment contracts, having previously worked with a range of clients in various sectors. We are well positioned to support your business, whether you need support in drafting contracts from scratch or you need advice on a dispute.

Our employment law team includes experienced advocates at the Employment Tribunal and accredited mediators.

Speak to our employment contract solicitors today

If you’re looking for employment contract advice, get in touch with our expert lawyers today.

Contact us on 0131 270 7700, visit our offices in EdinburghGlasgowEast Lothian or Shetland, or fill in our enquiry form at the bottom of the page to request a call back.

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