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Employment Law for Businesses

Advising on Employment Contracts & Policies

Susie Al-Qassab
Susie Al‑Qassab
Partner
Homa Wilson
Homa Wilson
Partner
Neil Emery
Partner

Employment contracts and workplace policies govern the relationship between a business and its employees.

Employers are legally required to provide employees with a statement of employment terms at the start of their contract. This is the minimum requirement. However, we recommend including other provisions in contracts and more detailed workplace policies.

If you want advice on the terms of any contract, or assistance with drafting new ones, we offer competitive hourly rates and flexible fixed-fee options. We’ll provide clear and upfront cost information so you can budget effectively.

Drafting an Employment Contract

If drafted effectively, these will ensure that both the business and its employees understand what their respective obligations and responsibilities are at the outset of the relationship and make it easier to enforce what is expected of staff. A well-drafted contract is also essential for protecting your business in terms of confidentiality, intellectual property and post-termination restrictions.

We can also assist with other types of contracts (freelancers, contractors, consultants, casual workers, temporary workers).

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Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?

We’re experienced employment specialists and understand that each business is different, with different commercial considerations, organisational approaches and cultures.

We don’t take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. We take the time to understand the needs of your business and ensure that you have the most effective contracts and policies in place (whether for junior employees or senior execs).

Our employment lawyers can review and optimise existing contracts and policies you may have, or work with you to produce new ones. Employment law is always changing so we recommend that you review and update your documentation at least once a year.

Spending time and money on well-drafted contracts and policies is a well worthwhile investment because these are the most important employment documents. They’ll help you protect your business, manage the expectations of staff and avoid disputes.

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Featured cases

Updating Contracts and Policies for transport business

We’ve updated contractual provisions and prepared a full set of GDPR compliant data protection policies and privacy notices for a London-based transport company following the implementation of the new regulations in 2018.

Employment contracts for multi-national business

We assisted a US-based company with an employment contract and essential policies for their first UK-based employee.

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Frequently asked questions

Which policies should my business have in place?

There a number of policies which businesses should consider having in place, but the essential ones are:

  • Equal Opportunities
  • Anti-harassment/bullying
  • Grievance
  • Disciplinary
  • Whistleblowing
  • Sickness absence
  • IT use/social media
  • Health and safety
  • Anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-tax-evasion

These are essential either because they are required by law or will help protect the business against claims.

As a business-owner, can I alter the terms of a contract without consulting the employee?

It’s difficult for an employer to make major changes to employee terms of employment without the employee’s consent. Always check the contract because it may allow you to make certain changes (either in respect of specific terms, or more generally).

The changes you can make to variation clauses, such as where employees can be required to work, may be limited. You must at least have a good business reason to justify any changes here. Consult with employees and give them enough notice before implementing the change.

If a major change is forced upon employees in breach of your contract, they may have a constructive dismissal claim. Employees may also have a claim for unlawful deduction from wages if the change results in a reduction in their pay.

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