If employers and employees had a clear understanding of their obligations from the outset, then disputes could be avoided. Without a contract of employment, disputes can arise where employees try to assert rights based on orally agreed terms, or custom and practice.

It is a legal requirement for an employer to issue a contract to an employee, where the employee has been employed for 2 months.

Non contractual handbooks are recommended. These cover the day to day rules, and guidance to help prevent disputes. They protect your business. For example, a well prepared anti bribery policy might provide a defence to criminal allegations should your organisation ever be accused of bribery.

The Employment Team at TSP has a great deal of experience of preparing contracts and handbooks, for businesses of all sizes and industry sectors. We provide advice on the minimum requirements, and pragmatic advice on what additional policies should be included.

We also advise on the cost and benefit of preparing contractual terms and policies that go beyond the statutory minimum.

Protecting Business Secrets and employee competition

The days when an employee had a job for life have long passed. If an employee does decide to leave your employment, then it is essential that your business is protected properly.

This can be done by inserting restrictions into the employee’s contract of employment. These include:

  • Garden leave – to enable you to send an employee home during their notice period
  • Restricting the use of confidential information during and after employment
  • Preventing competition, and contacting of customers after employment
  • Preventing a former employee from poaching remaining staff

To strengthen your position fully, these restrictions should be in your contracts and handbook documentation. If you do not protect your business, then the results could be severe. This is a complex area of law, and employees often argue that the restrictions are not valid. The Employment Team is experienced at both preparing and advising on the enforceability of these restrictions.  We are experienced at dealing with enforcement, should the employee be in breach.

Practical and pragmatic advice is given at each stage. We will also advise you of the cost and benefit at each stage of any enforcement action.

Employment Status: Determining whether someone is genuinely self-employed or should be classed as a worker can be difficult. Following the judgment in June 2018 in the Pimlico Plumbers case, TSP Employment Law specialist Jolyon Berry outlines the main points employers should take from the case here and highlights the need to ensure that the reality of what you expect a self-employed contractor to do reflects the working arrangements that have been agreed and which are clearly recorded in a bespoke contract drafted by a lawyer. The TSP Employment team can help if you are dealing with self-employed contractors.