Advising on Employment Contracts and Policies

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

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

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).

Please also ask us about the changes to employment contract requirements which came into force in April 2020. There are now additional particulars which have to be provided to employees and workers before they start working for you. Contact the team for help with Contracts and Policies

Contract and Policy employment advice at Hodge Jones & Allen

  • Competitive Rates

If you want advice on the terms of any contract/policy, or assistance with drafting new ones, we offer competitive hourly rates and flexible fixed-fee options.

  • Clear and upfront cost information

We will provide clear and upfront cost information to ensure that you remain in control of your costs at every stage.

  • Dealing with the best person in the team

You will be allocated to the most appropriate lawyer for your matter, who will be able to advise you.

Why are Hodge Jones & Allen specialists?

  • Highly Experienced

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

  • Bespoke Service

We don’t take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Legal compliance is of course important, but 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).

  • Keeping you up to date

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.

  • Investing in your future

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

Case Study: Updating Contracts and Policies for transport business

We have 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.

Case Study: Employment contracts for multi national business

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

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 is 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).

However, even if there are variation clauses, for example around where employees can be required to work, if the changes proposed are important (which would include the location of the office), or disadvantageous to employees, your ability to impose change is limited, and you must at least have a good business reason to justify the change, and consult with employees and give them sufficient 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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    Our offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

    Phone:0808 231 6369
    Fax:020 7388 2106
    Address:Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
    180 North Gower Street
    NW1 2NB