Do My New Staff Need Employment Contracts?

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Recruitment is one of the most important processes in business. It is vital that you are able to attract and recruit talent to your organisation so that you are able to perform to a high level, but there is a lot to consider when bringing new staff on board. Obviously, you want to find someone that is a good fit for your company and have a smooth onboarding process, but you must also consider the legal side of recruitment. This involves staff contracts, and some business owners might wonder whether these requirements are really necessary. This post will tell you all that you need to know.

What Are Employment Contracts?

First, it is important to define what employment contracts are. These are agreements between employers and employees that establish the terms of employment, responsibilities that the employee will have, and the worker’s rights. These contracts are legally binding, which means they provide important legal protection for both parties if there are any discrepancies. Remember that the employee-employer relationship can be complex, so having a legally-binding contract in place is mutually beneficial.

Why Employment Contracts Are Important

Employee contracts are important for a number of different reasons. These include:

Outlining expectations: One of the main reasons you should have contracts in place for new staff is that it provides the opportunity to outline the expectations and responsibilities of staff clearly. This is particularly important when onboarding staff as they will have a physical document that they can turn to (you should also provide them with an employee handbook).

Employment laws: You do not want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law when it comes to employment, and there are many key legal areas, including minimum wage and statutory benefits. By creating employment contracts for staff members, you are able to demonstrate that you are compliant with employment law and are able to avoid complex and damaging legal issues relating to employment.

Information protection: It is important to remember that a great deal of trust must be maintained when you hire new staff. Employees are privy to all kinds of sensitive information, including intellectual property, financial and customer data, and market research. Employee contracts allow employers to safeguard this information and avoid the misuse of sensitive data that can impact the business’s success.

Legal protection: As with any kind of contract, employee contracts provide important legal protection for both parties. As mentioned, employee agreements can be complex, with many different policies and procedures. An employee contract can provide protection if there are any breaches of the contract. In addition to this, disputes and misunderstandings are often avoided because the information is readily available for both parties.

Peace of mind: Finally, a key reason why you need to create employment contracts for all staff members is peace of mind. Having an iron-clad, legally-binding contract in place gives you peace of mind knowing that you have protection in place in case of any issues (it can also provide peace of mind for your employees for the same reasoning).

What To Include In Employment Contacts

Employment contracts can be complex documents, and you want to ensure you have everything covered. So, what should be included in your employment contract? It will depend on the employment status of each worker but will generally need to outline the terms and conditions, responsibilities, and rights that the employee has. This can include areas like:

  • Duties
  • Sick pay
  • Notice period
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Notice period
  • Pension
  • Restrictive covenant
  • Data security
  • Social media use

As such a complex yet important document, you will find that you take a risk by creating the contracts yourself. This is why it is a smart idea to use an HR specialist that can create all of your employment contracts for you. This will reduce your exposure to risk and ensure that you are legally compliant with all of the latest labor laws. You can also get an HR specialist to create a staff handbook to provide to new employees that establishes the culture of the business, outlines rules and procedures, and provides information that will help a new employee to settle into the business quickly.

As you can clearly see, it is a smart move to create employee contracts for new staff that you recruit to your business. Employee contracts provide important legal protection for all parties, but they can also be useful tools for outlining what is expected of new employees and could help a new recruit settle into the business much faster.

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Adeline Darrow
By Adeline Darrow

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