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Paperwork essentials

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 in Employment Law, policies and procedures

A contract doesn’t have be in writing – far too many successful cases have been based on promises made over the phone or at interview, but employers and employees who want to be sure what they are signing up to will always be advised to “get it down in writing.”

Keeping policies and contracts up to date can be a full time job and for new businesses it is likely that you won’t have the time or resources to get all your paperwork ready up front.

Our paperwork essentials are designed to help you decide where to focus:

  • “Section 1 statement”: The only contractual terms which are actually required by law and they must be provided in writing within two months of starting employment.   Covers the basics, including start date, pay, pension, notice and holiday.
  • Bonus rules: Often, employees just focus on how much they can earn and what they have to do to get it.   Employers will want to think through all the events that might happen during the life of the bonus scheme and what might influence whether they want the bonus to pay out e.g. minimum levels of company profitability, impact of absence for extended periods and adverse behaviours that might be driven by the sales focussed targets.
  • Protecting the business: What is the most important factor in the success of your business – your secret formula, your key employees, your customers? You will want to be sure that when an employee leaves you have as much protection as possible to ensure that your business doesn’t leave with them.
  • Disciplinaries and grievances: You will need to be able to show that employees know what standards of behaviour are expected, the consequences for non-compliance and how you will resolve any disputes that arise.
  • Key polices and procedures:  Ensure that you are setting expectations and providing essential information on areas which could impact your business most e.g. equal opportunities, data protection, IT, social media and anti-bribery.

No paperwork, no problem? If someone is not prepared to put something down in writing, it is almost always because they know that they shouldn’t be saying it.   It also leaves the parties open to a “he said … she said …” argument in the future and costly, uncertain litigation being decided on who has the most convincing witness on the day.