Reviewing Employment Contracts

You may need advice on your employment contract at different stages and for different reasons.

When you are starting a new job we can help advise on and explain new contract terms, and give you some points to negotiate with your prospective employer, or help negotiate those directly. Typical areas of focus are payment arrangements (particularly bonuses, incentives and commission arrangements), probationary periods, termination/notice provisions, and post termination restrictions.

During employment you may require advice on changes which your employer is seeking to impose, and whether those changes are authorised by your contract, and, if not, what your options are.

If you are thinking of ending your employment, or you are at risk of dismissal by your employer, we can advise on express/implied duties in your contract which may be relevant to the circumstances of your leaving (for example implied duties of loyalty or if you are a senior employee then possible fiduciary duties which will be relevant if you are intending to move to a competitor or are part of a team move). You may also require advice on the enforceability of post termination restricts in your contact which purport to restrict your activities for a period of time after you leave (non-compete provisions, non-soliciting/dealing with clients, non-poaching of key employees) but may not be enforceable.

You may also have a contract as a contractor or a freelancer rather than an employee which we can also advise on. Contact our expert solicitors.

How do I get legal assistance?

  • Speak to us

You can contact us before you start a new job when you have a new contract you would like us to review. Alternatively, you can contact us during employment if you are concerned that your employer has breached your contract, or you want advice on termination rights or post termination restrictions.

  • Clear Strategy

Our team will assess your situation and find a suitable solicitor to help you. They will be able to provide you with time frames for the reviews.

  • Funding options

Our solicitors will be able provide you with up-front cost estimates based on the work/advise required so you are clear on your costs.

Why choose us to review your contracts?

We can help you negotiate better terms and conditions.

  • Expertise

Our team of specialist employment lawyers regularly advises on employment contracts, executive service agreements, consultancy/contractor/freelancer agreements and non-executive director appointment letters.

  • Straightforward advice

Guiding you with clear, straightforward advice at every step, we make sure you are aware of all your options. If a contract dispute arises we help you find a resolution, and if necessary, can start (or defend) legal proceedings on your behalf and represent you either in the Employment Tribunal or at the High Court.

  • Cost conscious

Our costs are highly competitive and transparent. We will provide you with clear funding options and keep you up-to date throughout.

Case Study: Lawyers successfully countered poaching claim and enforceability of non-compete restriction

We recently represented a tech sector employee whose previous employer was threatening legal proceedings to stop her working for a competitor and suing for thousands of pounds of damages for poaching its clients. We successfully countered the poaching accusations and disputed the enforceability of the non-compete restriction her old employer sought to rely on and she was able to continue working for her new company and no damages were paid.

Advised employee to enforce a change to her contracted hours

Advising an employee who worked for a high-street retailer who was seeking to enforce a change to her contracted working hours. We helped her to dispute and resist the change and in the face of a potential constructive dismissal claim her employer backed down and we were able to help her agree alternative arrangements which worked for her and a phased transition.

Frequently asked questions

Can my employer change the terms of my employment contract?

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

However, even if there are variation clauses, for example around where you can be required to work, if the changes proposed are important (which would include the location of the office), or disadvantageous to you, your employer’s ability to impose change is limited, and your employer must at least have a good business reason to justify the change, and consult with you and give you sufficient notice before implementing the change. If a major change is forced upon you in breach of your contract, you may have a constructive dismissal claim. You may also have a claim for unlawful deduction from wages if the change results in a reduction in your pay.

My contract says my employer can dismiss me on one week’s notice during my probationary period, is that fair?

Always read through the terms of your employment contract carefully before signing it. One week’s notice during probation is legal because it complies with statutory minimum notice.

However, if your contract otherwise provides for 1 month’s notice, which many do, your employer would also need another express term in your contract allowing for one week only during probation. This may be a term that you want to negotiate before you sign i.e. increase 1 week’s notice to 2 weeks, or shorten the length of the probationary period.

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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
London
NW1 2NB
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