Contract Negotiations

Employer

A Contract of Employment is an agreement between an employer and employee and forms the basis of their employment relationship.

A contract begins as soon as the offer of employment is accepted. Starting work is evidence that the employee accepts those terms of employment.

Most employees are entitled by law to a written Statement of the main terms and conditions of their employment within two calendar months of their starting work, otherwise they can be entitled to compensation. The Statement should include certain information relating to pay, hours of work and entitlement to holidays. It is essential the employer ensures all relevant clauses required by law are included.

It may also be in the employer's interests to include other clauses to protect their interests, for example:

Relating to the requirement to wear a uniform and who is responsible for its care:

  • To prevent a senior employee going to work for a competitor for a set period of time following their leaving the employer or preventing the poaching of staff ‐ such clauses are called "Restrictive Covenants" and must be very carefully worded. If not, they may not be strict enough to preserve the business interests of the employer, or if too strict they may not be upheld by the Court;
  • A confidentiality clause may be advisable in order to protect sensitive or confidential information;
  • Longer periods of notice than provided by law, may be required in respect of senior staff in order to prepare for the employee's departure and handover. It may also be wise to provide for the employee being placed on "garden leave" during the notice period.
  • A "flexibility clause" which enables the employer to make certain changes to some conditions of the Employment Contract, for instance with regard to relocation.

It may be advisable that some clauses are not contained in the actual Contract of Employment but referred to in the "Staff Handbook" making it easier to change such clauses in the future, for instance with regard to sickness absence.

It is always best to have a clear and concise Contract in order to save misunderstanding and to avoid costly disputes.

The above is for general information ony and should not be constued as formal legal advice.


Employee

A Contract of Employment is an agreement between an employer and employee and forms the basis of their employment relationship.

A Contract begins as soon as the offer of employment is accepted - starting work is evidence that the employee accepts those terms of employment. It is therefore important the employee is clear with regard to the terms of employment before starting work.

Most employees are entitled by law to a written Statement of the main terms and conditions of their employment within two calendar months of their starting work; otherwise compensation can be claimed through the Employment Tribunal. The written Statement should include certain information relating to pay, hours of work and entitlement to holidays.

Certain things which are not included in the written Statement can be imported into the Contract such as custom and practice and terms that are necessary to make the Contract work, so for instance if the employee is employed as a chauffeur, it is presumed that he or she holds a valid driving licence.

It is important to check the Contract carefully with regard to what is known as "Restrictive Covenants" which can bind the employee even after his or her employment has come to an end, with regard to such things as working for a competitor, working in a certain area for a specified period.

The Contract may require the employee to give a longer period of notice to leave the employer than is required by law. It is advisable to check this to ensure the period of time is acceptable.

It is always advisable to be clear as to what is in the Contract and to ensure that you agree with it all before signing. Otherwise it may be too late and you will be bound by terms which you did not fully understand and which are not beneficial to you.

The above is for general information only and should not be constitued as formal legal advice.

Contacting Us

Fosters Solicitors team of Business & Commercial lawyers have a wealth of experience and knowledge to assist you in relation to any legal query or matter you may have. Call us on 01603 620508 or complete our and a member of the department will be in touch very soon.