How Robust are your Contracts of Employment?

This is the beginning of a series where we have created a simple checklist that any business can use to gauge how robust their HR is. No matter the size or complexity of your business, if you have employees you can use this checklist to self-audit your HR processes. Your responses will be kept entirely confidential.

The HR Checklist

You can find a link to the first survey on Contracts of Employment here. If you would like to discuss the results of your checklist once completed, please feel free to contact us on 0131 225 7458 (Edinburgh), 0141 225 6288 (Glasgow) or send an email to

Contracts of Employment

If an Employer breaches a Contract of Employment, an Employment Tribunal can reward a successful claimant up to £25,000 – a sum of money that presumably no business would be prepared or willing to part with easily; and for discrimination cases there is no limit on the compensation that can be awarded. Additionally, there is potentially no time limit for an individual to make a breach of contract claim to a tribunal, following the ruling in the Grisanti versus NBC News Worldwide case.

However, it is not just the possible cost of compensation that businesses should consider as the time, effort and distraction from “business as usual” should be a factor. Having an accurate and robust contract of employment in place for each member of staff is one way to help mitigate potential risks.

Compliant Documentation

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, employers must provide employees whose employment is to continue for more than one month with a written statement of certain terms of their employment. This must be provided within the first few months of employment.

Additionally, for changes to any of the required statutory particulars, an employer must give a written statement which details the change no later than one month after the change. Of course this is only one specific example as employers need to be conscious of the whole spectrum such as file and data management, family friendly policies, performance reviews, job descriptions, return to work meetings, recruitment, and fostering positive working cultures.

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