Every employee has a contract of employment as a matter of law. If you do not set out the terms of that contract in writing they may have to be determined by a Tribunal on the basis of what the employee and the employer said and intended.
This can be unpredictable and uncertain. It is always advisable, therefore, to ensure that the terms of employment are not only agreed, but that the agreements are recorded in writing.
If an employer does not provide an employee with written confirmation of certain basic terms of the employment contract and the employee later makes a successful claim against the employer, an Employment Tribunal can award a further sum to the employee for the failure to provide a statement of these basic contract terms in writing.
To ensure that all parties are aware of their rights and obligations and to ensure that disputes are avoided we would strongly recommend that written statements of the main terms of employment are given to all employees from the outset of their employment.
Dependant on the nature of the employee’s role, you may also want to consider imposing Restrictive Covenants to protect your business. If an employee then breaches the covenants, an employer can seek an injunction to stop the employee from causing him loss. Any loss suffered can also be recovered if the covenants are found to be enforceable. It is important that advice is sought regarding the drafting of these clauses to ensure that they are considered reasonable and this will heavily depend on the business needs of the employer.
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