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HR Tip – do we need written contracts of employment?


These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

Q: We have never issued written contracts to our employees. How do we stand?

A: You are not complying with the law if you fail to issue either a written contract or written statement of terms and conditions of employment.

If an employee asks for a written contract and you still fail to issue it, then ultimately an employment tribunal may write the document for you, and on more generous terms than you would have wished.

In the meantime, if you find yourself in dispute with an employee about some aspect of the employment relationship that should have been set out in writing, a court is more likely to find in favour of the employee because of your default.

From early next year, if an employment tribunal discovers – during any successful claim brought by an employee on a wide range of topics – that you have not issued the contractual statement, you may be fined between two to four weeks' pay. I'd start writing now!

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One Response

  1. Employment Contracts
    I may be late on this, but may I first confirm that many Employees I meet professionally don’t seem to know what their formal duties are, even at very senior levels? Independent of ‘the law’, how may they then know if they are personally discharging them?

    Second, how may Employers ever realistically know if their employees are actually meeting their requirements? – or may even win promotion – if these requirements are not codified?

    This seems like so much commonsense, if requiring a considerable amount of discipline and forethought, such that any ‘legal requirement’ must surely be secondary?

    Personaly, I wouldn’t dream of working for an organisation where my duties weren’t clear, or the measures of my success weren’t clarified.

    Would you?

    Just my ha’p’orth!

    Best wishes


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