Our team of Employment Solicitors and Barristers will work with you to draft tailormade employment contracts and handbooks to meet your organisation’s Employment Law needs.
Our team advise on employment contract, HR policies and staff handbook requirements so that your employment paperwork is up to date and fit for purpose. Time and money spent on drafting these important employment documents at the outset is highly recommended as these documents reduce the risk of employee grievances and Employment Tribunal claims, thus saving your company time and money in the long term.
Initial Telephone Discussion
A staff handbook sets out the company policies and procedures an employee is expected to follow. Some start-up companies question the need for a handbook but, however large or small your company, a handbook is an essential tool. It is a useful defence against employment claims, helps to show that you are a caring employer, showcases your benefits assisting with employee retention, puts in place policies, systems and procedures to support employees and assists with ensuring their good conduct.
It is important to seek legal advice and guidance when drafting a staff handbook because a badly drafted handbook could:
- Fail to comply with current legislation
- Cause confusion for employees
- Create feelings of ill-will in employees
- Discourage employees from using the handbook
- Highlight inconsistencies in procedures
A staff handbook should be tailored to the specific needs of your business, the nature of the employer and employee relationship, and be capable of being followed by all. That means simplicity, consistency and use of plain language.
A staff handbook should contain policies on:
- Anti-bullying and harassment
- Appraisal process
- Benefits available, such as long-service holiday entitlement or season ticket loans
- Bereavement Leave
- Car policies – if the company provides company cars
- Compassionate and bereavement leave
- Data protection and handling of confidential information
- Disciplinary investigations
- Equal opportunities
- Expenses policies and when expenses can be claimed
- Flexible and home working policies
- Grievance handling
- Maternity, paternity and adoption policies
- Overtime claims
- Parental leave
- Promotion and recruitment
- Right to work checks and procedures
- Sick leave
- Staff uniform and dress code
- Social media usage
- Time off for dependents
How often your staff handbook should be updated depends on your changing business and employment practices and if there have been any developments in Employment Law or recognised HR best practice. Typically, an employer should review its staff handbook every 6 to 12 months or if a HR matter or employment issue shows that the handbook should be updated to avoid a similar issue or problem occurring.
An employment contract defines the employment relationship between employer and employee. It is therefore a crucial document as it not only regulates employment but will be used as a base point in any Employment Tribunal proceedings.
As a minimum an employment contract should include the following:
- The name of the employer and employee
- The job title and description
- Employment start date and, if relevant, end date if a fixed term contract
- Probationary period and any extension
- Hours expected to work and if overtime is payable if additional hours are worked
- Place of work and if the employer can change the employee’s place of work if the business requires the worker to move to a different branch
- Confidentiality of employer information
- Notice periods
- Sick Pay provisions
- Restrictive covenants if the employee leaves their employment
Our team of Employment Solicitors and Barristers can help you by reviewing your employment contracts, helping to ensure they are up to date with legislation, regulations and best HR and employment practices.
Breach of Employment Contract
A breach of the employment contract occurs if an employee or employer breaks the terms of their employment contract. A breach of the employment contract should not be ignored as this may have serious implications for you.
Our team can offer advice if you believe there has been a breach of employment contract so you can then take appropriate action.
For friendly and approachable Employment Law advice contact the team who will be happy to answer your employment contract and staff handbook and HR policy enquiries, as part of our comprehensive Employment Law Services.
Where possible we will offer a fixed fee, so you will know what the costs are from the start. For more complex or uncertain projects, we will provide you with an estimate of the likely fees involved and keep you updated throughout the matter.
How to get in contact
Our Employment Law Solicitors are on hand to provide expert advice and assist you wherever you are based. Please call us for a no-obligation, initial discussion on 01256 460830 or email [email protected].
Our offices are based in Basingstoke and we assist clients across the country.
We aim to keep legal jargon to a minimum and guide you through the process in a manner that is easy to understand.
Our highly-skilled solicitors offer tailored, strategic solutions to even the most complex matters, ensuring you receive the guidance and support you need.
We will be by your side throughout every stage of the process and will provide you with regular updates and advice along the way.
We communicate thoroughly with you from the outset to ensure that we fully understand your individual needs. This allows us to accurately quote for your matter leaving you without any unexpected surprises and fees further down the line.
We provide our clients with a concise and transparent breakdown of costs from the outset of the matter and throughout any subsequent stages. This enables you to build faith and trust in us early on to form a lasting relationship.
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