There’s an old saying that a contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on – what nonsense!
Many clients tell us they have never issued a contract of employment and no employee has ever complained. Lucky them! That’s fine as long as employees never challenge them, but not only is it a legal requirement to issue a contract, it is essential for protecting a business.
Whenever we take on a case the first question we ask is: What does the contract of employment say? It is the first point of reference.
Without a contract a business owner has no way of proving what was agreed, or have any recourse to challenge an employee if something goes wrong.
By law, employers must issue a contract of employment within the first eight weeks of employment. It is also essential to issue an employee handbook and have staff members sign to be able to prove they have read and understood the company rules.
A contract and handbook are fundamental to any business. Not only are they legal requirements but they can be written to suit the company so the employer can retain the flexibility they need.
It’s obvious really, but if the basics are taken care of in a professional manner at the start of a person’s employment then everyone knows where they stand.
By Debbie Cohen, Strretwise HR