How to draw up an employment contract
- 1 Look for samples of written statements and contracts: contact Acas or your trade association, or ask similar businesses you know.
- 2 Decide the basic terms for the written statement: for example, pay, working hours, holidays and notice periods.
- 3 Decide whether the job is permanent and whether you want to include a probationary period.
- 4 Consider which areas may need flexibility, for example, the employee's job title and role, and place of work.
- 5 Clarify any areas which you want to be non-contractual, such as discretionary bonuses.
- 6 Draw up the written statement; ensure that you have included all the legally required information.
- 7 Ensure that any other documents you refer to in the written statement are readily accessible (eg disciplinary and grievance procedures and pension schemes).
- 8 Review the job and any problems you have experienced with employees and ex-employees in the past.
- 9 Decide whether there are any requirements for the employee (eg to hold or achieve a professional qualification or a driving licence).
- 10 Identify any other concerns, for example, confidentiality, intellectual property or the potential for ex-employees to compete with you.
- 11 Draw up a clear contract; include the written statement and extra clauses to cover the additional contractual elements you want to include.
- 12 Ensure that the contract is not discriminatory, does not override the employee's statutory rights and is legally enforceable.
- 13 Take legal advice as necessary, particularly if the contract attempts to restrict employees after they leave your employment.
- 14 Give each employee their employment contract within two months of commencing their employment.
- 15 Explain the contract and its significance to the employee; agree the contract, and ask the employee to sign a copy.
- find out the legal requirements for the written statement
- identify key issues and areas of concern
- ensure that the contract is clear and achieves your objectives
- take legal advice as necessary
- get the employee to agree and sign the written contract
- restrict your flexibility
- include legally unenforceable clauses