Employment Contract [For Junior Employee]

*Updated for GDPR*

This document is for when you want to employ a junior employee in your business. The employment agreement for a senior employee (also available via the site) has more protection for the company than the employment agreement for a junior employee. It depends on the level of responsibility and the access to confidential information and clients that the employee will have. Generally you would use the junior contract for those below manager level, or for those who don’t have dealings with key clients. See our Step by Step walkthrough for full guidance notes to help you complete this document on your own.

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Step-by-step guide

Let’s walk you through how to go about drafting an Employment Contract, something you need if you’re a business hiring new staff. Employees can work for you only during the hours they work for you. This is one of the differences between an employee and a consultant. A consultant is normally allowed to work for other people too. You also have more control over the day to day activities of an employee, than a consultant.

The legal side of a business does not have to be scary or confusing; it is however 100% necessary. Follow these simple steps to put your agreement into writing and ensure that you are adequately protected.

1. First thing’s first, enter the relevant details of both parties…

2. You’ll want to include some general points regarding the beginning of the term. This often includes a probation period during which you can assess the suitability of the employee and end their employment on less notice than you would need to give normally after their probationary period…

3. You’ll need a bit outlining the duties of the employee – what are they going to do for you? This is important as it sets the standard for the level of work they will be carrying out, even if you vary their specific tasks later – so the more breadth you give yourself the better…

4. You’ll also need to define what the normal place of work will be…

5. Provide information about the salary, including review and payment. Bear in mind there is a national minimum wage in the UK which you need to follow – feel free to discuss this with one of our LawBriefs. And are there any other benefits like a bonus? If so, you need to set all this out now…

6. Then set out what the normal hours are, and related matters - such as overtime. There are specific laws applying to working time in the UK as a result of EU legislation, so you may want one of our LawBriefs to help you with this bit…

And are there any company rules and policies that apply to the employee? If so, mention these here.

7. Use this the next section to state how many days’ holiday the employee will be entitled to, how holiday is to be taken and what happens to un-used holiday – this is another area where the law has something to say, so make sure you give them the right entitlement. If you are unsure then we can help with this.

8. What will the standard procedure be regarding absence due to sickness? When does the employee have to notify you and what evidence of sickness do you need? Will they get statutory sick pay only or will you pay them more than that and, if so, how long for?

9. There should be a notice period where either you or the employee want to end the employee’s employment. There are minimum periods for these. Speak to a LawBrief if you want more information about what they are.

The clause allows you to pay the employee instead of the employee working during their notice period. This allows you to end the employee’s employment straight away but remember that the employee may still have rights to unfair dismissal (which is a legal right, and has nothing to do with the employment contract) so you might want to take advice from a LawBrief before you terminate the employment of any employee….

10. You may also want to outline the procedure for discipline and complaints, so that everybody knows where they stand. If you don’t include the procedure in the contract, you must tell the employee where to find the procedure. It is always a good idea to have a standard staff handbook that everyone can access to set out this kind of stuff, as it can also deal with other legal obligations like data protection…

11. The next section should explain simply that pension provisions are outlined in Schedule 2. This is another area where you may need advice as the law has recently altered and you may be obliged to provide or phase in a pension plan for employees…

12. Even if you don’t have anything to do with trade unions, you have to tell the employee whether a collective agreement applies to their employment…

13. You normally have to get an employee’s agreement before you make any changes to the terms of their employment, but you may be able to make small changes without their agreement. If you do want to make changes to any employee’s terms without their agreement, get advice first from a LawBrief. But you must always tell the employee about the change.

14. You’ll need to include a section about confidentiality - make it very clear what information can and cannot be shared…

Also employees have rights to know what you are going to do with information that you have about them. Make sure you tell them and get their consent to do those things.

15. You must explain what the employee must do with the company’s property if the agreement is terminated – for example, giving back any documents they have been working on, or their company phone or laptop.

17. And this is where you get the option to try out fantastic e-signing feature at no extra charge and close the agreement in minutes…

Remember, if you come unstuck at any point, our LawBriefs are here to help. Visit our legal advice page to submit an online enquiry or call us on 020 7148 1066.

Best of luck in your SME journey!

Document drafted by:

Louise Paull LawBrief

Louise Paull is an experienced employment lawyer providing clients with commercial, practical advice on a full range of employment-related matters.

She advises on contentious and non-contentious matters working with employers on the legal issues arising in relation to the recruitment, day-to-day employment and dismissal of staff, including drafting contracts of employment, staff handbooks and policies, cultural and family-friendly issues, equal opportunities, diversity and discrimination matters, sensitive issues around the termination of employment, including disciplinary, conduct and capability issues, negotiating severance packages and settlement agreements, collective and individual redundancies, unfair dismissal, breach of contract, business transfers and TUPE issues.

Louise qualified in 1999 with City firm King and Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin as an employment associate and most recently worked for Berwin Leighton Paisner in its employment team. She spent time on secondment with IMG, a major international sport and artist management business, as its sole in-house employment lawyer, and has worked for BT in its in-house legal team.