Employment contracts: What do you need to know?

An employment contract serves as the foundation of the working relationship between employers and employees, outlining each party’s rights, responsibilities, and expectations.

A well-drafted contract helps prevent misunderstandings, protect your business’s interests, and reduces the likelihood of employment disputes.

Clear job description and duties

A comprehensive job description sets expectations and helps to establish the boundaries of an employee’s role.

This ensures both parties understand the responsibilities and duties associated with the position.

You should include specific tasks, reporting relationships, and performance standards to avoid potential disputes in the future.

Compensation and benefits

Employment contracts should clearly state the employee’s compensation, including salary, bonuses, and benefits.

This includes specifying any eligibility criteria, payment schedules, and the method of calculating incentives.

Probationary period

Including a probationary period in your contract allows both parties to assess the working relationship and determine if it is a suitable fit.

Ensure that the probationary period, its terms, and the procedure for extending or terminating it are explicitly outlined in the contract.

Confidentiality and non-compete clauses

Confidentiality clauses protect your business’s sensitive information and trade secrets.

Non-compete clauses prevent employees from working with competitors or starting a competing business within a specified period and geographic location.

Be cautious when drafting these clauses, as overly restrictive terms may be deemed unenforceable by a court if they are unreasonable.

Technology and social media

Many employment contracts now also have clear guidelines on the use of technology and social media in the workplace.

Technology clauses outline an employee’s obligations are intended to protect a business’s software, systems and equipment.

Meanwhile, social media agreements within employment contracts outline the responsibilities of employees when engaging on platforms and are intended to protect sensitive information and the reputation of organisations.

Termination provisions

Clearly define the terms and conditions under which the employment contract may be terminated.

This should include notice periods, grounds for termination with or without cause, and any severance entitlements.

Employers should regularly review and update their employment contracts to make sure that they reflect expectations.

If you find yourself in a contract-related employment dispute, it is essential to seek legal advice as early as possible.

Our experienced employment law team can help you navigate the complexities of employment law and protect your business’s interests.

For help and advice on matters relating to employment law, contact Uzma Rabi on +44 (0) 20 7240 0521. 

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Uzma Rabi

Uzma Rabi

Employment Consultant at Mackrell.Solicitors
Uzma is a qualified employment solicitor providing consultancy services to some of the Top 100 firms and international companies. She has previously assisted the likes of Walt Disney, Warner Bros, Adecco and Oyster hr.