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July 25th, 2017
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Employment Documents. Specific Human Resources service, tailored for your company.
 
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Employment Documents

This HR service focuses on protecting your business legally, reducing the chances of employee disputes and employment tribunal claims. You can be sure that all employment documents supplied by HR Smart will comply with current legislation and ensure all of your employees are treated on a fair and equal basis.

HR Smart can design or review the following documents for you:

  • Contracts Of Employment
  • Employee Handbook
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Standard Letters
  • Employment Forms

We can produce either standard documents or bespoke design documents, tailored to your business.

Employer Documents -Are They Important?

Simply put - yes, it's the law.

Whether you employ one person on a part time basis or have a large team of employees, you must provide each employee with a written statement of their terms and conditions of employment. The requirement for a statement of terms and conditions comes from the Employment Rights Act 1996. This Act of legislation also outlines the minimum content that must be included.

The Act outlines 16 key clauses which much be included covering subjects such as:

  • Pay and Remuneration
  • Notice
  • Holiday Entitlements
  • Pension
  • Collective Arrangements

If your contract does not cover these basic provisions it will not be compliant and can leave you vulnerable to legal action being taken. Failure to provide a contract of employment can mean that an employee can raise a complaint at an Employment Tribunal for failure to comply. In 2009, the maximum compensation award that can be given for this simple failure is 1,400 per employee.

What Else Do You Need to Know About Employment Contracts?

The statement of terms and conditions, which can also be referred to as a Contract of Employment, can, and often should, include more than just the minimum legal provisions. A contract of employment demonstrates to your employees that you are interested in their rights, you are a positive and proactive employer and that you want to set a good example going forward.

Your Contract should also confirm the contractual terms as well as the statutory legal minimums.

To confirm, statutory terms are employment rights that are governed by law and apply to all employees. These points of law include, but are not limited to the following

  • National Minimum Wage
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Holiday Entitlements
  • Employers Notice Period

The employment documents that HR Smart produces are not only compliant with the law, but also cover additional contractual terms and enable you to further protect yourself, your employees and your Company.

Employment Policies

In addition to your contract of employment, you may want to think about investing in employment policies. As a minimum, to go along side your contract, you will need Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. We will write these in line with current legislation, best practice and matching your needs as part of our package to produce your contract.

As your business starts to grow, say between 5 - 10 employees, you may wish to think about an Absence and Leave Policy and Conduct Policy.  Why? -our experience is that as your business gets larger, you need to formalise your working policies and practices from informal to formal, so that each employee is treated fairly and consistently. Having formal employment policies and procedures in place, also reduces the amount of questions that you have to answer and makes sure that when a new employee starts employment with your Company, the ground rules are there for them in black and white.

Once you get beyond 10 employees, the investment in an employee handbook should be considered.  The employee handbook contains all of the polices mentioned above, as well additional information and combines them into one cohesive reference document.

When Do I Need These Employment Documents?

A contract of employment should be issued within the first 8 weeks of a person's employment.  There is no small business exemption, so if you have one employee then you need a contract.  The contracts that we devise are created to grow with your business. We are able to produce contracts to cover flexible working arrangements, fixed or temporary employment and permanent contracts. If you are not sure what your business needs just ask us.

If I'm Interested - What Happens Next?

In order to make sure your contract is going to be compliant, we will go through an assessment exercise with you. Don't worry, this isn't as daunting as it sounds.  It's not a test, if you don't know the answers we can guide and advise you based on your business needs.

Firstly, we will establish the arrangements you currently have in place and ensure that these are compliant with current and known incoming legislation.  The second part is where we learn about you and your business so that we are able to recommend additional clauses to be included. 

Examples of additional clauses can include:

  • Detailed holiday policies, such as carrying over holiday from one year to the next
  • Data Protection and Confidentiality
  • Intellectual Property and Copy rights
  • Key holding
  • Cash handling
  • Quality of work and snagging
  • Short term working

Once we have produced your contract for you, we will review this annually against any changes or future changes in legislation, so that your contract always remain up to date and legally compliant.

If you have an existing contract of employment, why not email it through to us and let us undertake a review for you.  This is a free service and once reviewed, we will let you know whether it is legally compliant and if it needs revising and updating.

Common Misconceptions

  • Public and bank holidays are working days and there is no legal entitlement to these.
  • There is no minimum notice period an employee has to give to terminate their employment, unless its specified in your contract.
  • An employment contract isn't optional. It must be issued within the first eight weeks of commencing employment even when working any probationary period.
  • Part time employees, students and casual employees all need contracts too.
  • "We don't need a contract. We have no problems here" -a written statement of terms and conditions is a legal requirement.  Whilst you may not have any employee issues now, you can be sure that your employees will not sign a contract when there is a dispute on the horizon.

Top Tip

At HR Smart, we often review contracts that have been "acquired" when the business was first set up.  It is important that your contract is reviewed regularly, reflects what you and your Company do and matches the needs of your business.

How Much Will It Cost?

As with all our HR Services, we work on a fixed fee basis.  Our prices are dependent on the level of work required, number of contract variations and if you require us to personalise the documents for each employee and/or to come along onsite to discuss these with your employees.  You can be assured that our price will be less than the compensation award for non compliance.

Like to know more?

Your contract should be a document that reflects you, who you are and what the Company is about. It is a working document to be proud of and one that is easily understandable to employees and employers alike and reflects your business. 

If you would like to know more about our Employment Documentation service, what your business needs to be legally compliant or reassurance that your documents give you the protection you need, then give us a call on 0845 6100 651.

 

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