6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Business & Professional Life today CLICK HERE

Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks

PUBLISHED: 16:51 30 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:15 20 February 2013

Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks

Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks

Are your Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks robust and effective? Cathy O'Donoghue, HR Consultant at HR Champions shares some views regarding these key documents...

Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks

Are your Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks robust and effective? Cathy ODonoghue, HR Consultant at HR Champions shares some views regarding these key documents

One of the services we provide for businesses is the provision or review of Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks. Its not uncommon to come across a business that has been trading for a number of years with a wholly inadequate or outdated contract or handbook. Occasionally, we come across a company that has no written contracts in place whatsoever. A robust Employment Contract and Staff Handbook are crucial tools for managing staff effectively and for supporting disciplinary processes. Here are our primary considerations on the subject:

  • A contract exists as soon as you agree to pay someone in return for them undertaking or carrying out work for you; even if this agreement is verbal. You are required by law to issue a written contract within eight weeks of an employee starting work.

  • Failing to issue a written contract prevents you from specifying rules or conditions to which your employees must adhere whilst they work for you. In the event of a dispute or grievance you will only have statutory law or case law to hold employees to account.

  • You may also find that custom & practice takes precedent where no written contracts exist. So if youre staff tend to finish early on a Friday because Weve always finished early on a Friday, youll have poor grounds to argue a case should you start insisting that staff work their full hours and they refuse.

  • Your contracts should stipulate the working hours, holiday, pay and rules that are specific to each employee. Rules and conditions that cover everyone should be referred to in the Staff Handbook. So a driver may have a different contract from a cleaner in terms of pay and contracted hours, but they would both be subject to the same absence and sickness policies as laid out in the Staff Handbook.

  • Contracts of Employment and Staff Handbooks need to be looked at and updated regularly so that you are not exposed to any risks from changes in Employment Law. A good example of this is the abolition of the Default Retirement Age. Any clauses relating to a specific retirement age should be removed from Staff Handbooks as they are at best unenforceable, and at worst age discriminatory.

  • Try to update your handbooks as the law changes. HR Champions offer free Employment Law Update meetings every quarter which equip you with the information to keep your Staff Handbooks current (See our website for details). We recommend a full, professional review every three years.

43 Brunswick Road Gloucester GL1 1JS

Tel: 01452 331331

Fax: 01452 423239



More from Cotswold Life

Yesterday, 14:24

Choral carol services and grand instrumental performances, with the backdrop of some of the Cotswolds most picturesque locations, are perfect ways to embrace the festivities. We pick some of the best carol services and concerts to enjoy in the region

Read more
Yesterday, 11:35

“This letting to Oxford nanoSystems is a fantastic example of how we are able to provide first class facilities for growing technology companies at Abingdon Business Park.”

Read more
Yesterday, 11:28

One of the UK’s leading training and education specialists has launched a skills hub in Nuneaton

Read more
Yesterday, 11:19

“The logistics hub is another example of where we have worked in partnership to support skills needs in the area and link our student body with future job opportunities.”

Read more
Yesterday, 11:07

“It was fantastic to see how this project is making a real difference to the lives of young people at risk of social exclusion.”

Read more
Yesterday, 10:57

It has become the 90th store to accept the gift card in Cheltenham

Read more

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Wed, 15:59

From festive light switch-ons and Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas Fayres and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in and around the Cotswolds this season

Read more
Wed, 15:42

Property prices across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds have risen steadily over the last few years, reflecting the trend across the country. But which area has shown the most dramatic hike in prices recently, and how does your postcode and house type compare with others in the area? You may be surprised to see the results...

Read more
Wed, 11:43

Wine Wednesday’s with Vintopia of Tetbury.

Read more
Wed, 10:37

Festive a la carte menu launches in Grey’s Brasserie from 26th November.

Read more
Wed, 09:31

Cotswold Life readers enjoy a complimentary glass of wine with our compliments when joining us for our Autumn Feast Lunch Offer.

Read more
Tue, 15:01

Harnessing the power of social media, charity awards and dreaming up new projects - it’s all in a day’s work for Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper and its corporate supporters

Read more
Tue, 14:24

The fifth edition of the annual awards will be taking place from 6pm on Thursday, November 16 at the Tree Tops Pavilion, West Midland Safari Park

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search