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A Human Resources (HR) department is at the heart of any business, and having the correct legal documents required to comply with employment laws is essential to HR staff duties. 

To help you understand what documents you need and why we have collated below 10 essential legal documents that HR departments require, including the critical policies you must have in place.

1. Statement of particulars of employment

It is not a legal requirement to provide employees with an employment contract. However, employees and workers must be provided with a 'Written Statement of Employment Particulars' that includes required information such as pay and working hours on or before their first day.

2. Employment Contracts

An Employment Contract provides much more detail than a ‘Written Statement of Particulars’ and therefore offers a business greater protection. 

For example, you can include restrictive covenants in your Employment Contracts to prevent an employee from soliciting your existing clients, poaching your employees, and/or, in some cases, taking a position with a competitor. 

Another contractual provision that can be used to protect your commercial interests is the notice period an employee must give if they choose to resign.

An Employment Agreement can also provide compensation and benefits such as the right to flexible/hybrid working, sick pay over and above an employee’s statutory entitlement, and other advantages that can assist you with recruiting and retaining the top talent in your industry.

Having one of our employment law solicitors draft a bespoke contract that is personalised and created to suit your business goals will ensure that the contract meets the statutory minimum requirements, is enforceable, and help you attract highly-skilled people and avoid employment disputes.

However, if you’re looking to get started with a basic Employment Contract, you can download our free template below.


Free Employment Contract template


3. Staff Handbook

A Staff Handbook (also known as an Employee Handbook) supports your company’s Employment Contracts.

The Staff Handbook contains policies, procedures, and practices tailored to your business. It provides additional information concerning specific employment contract terms such as: 

  • Holiday pay
  • Parental and maternity leave
  • Disciplinary procedures. 
  • History of the business 
  • Insight into its values and culture


Free Staff Handbook template


4. UK GDPR, data protection and Privacy Policy

Almost all businesses control or process personal data and, therefore, must comply with data protection and privacy regulations, including the following:

Having policies and procedures setting out the compliance requirements applicable to your business and recording obligations will ensure that should a data breach occur or a customer submits a Subject Access Request, the company will be in a position to comply with the ICO/customer request.

5. Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy

The Bribery Act 2010 makes failing to prevent bribery and corruption an offence. 

If in breach, your organisation, its officers and employees could face legal action. Therefore, you must have a detailed policy setting out the law applicable to bribery and corruption and the type of gifts employees, agents, and other third parties working for the business can accept.

6. Anti-money Laundering Policy

If your business is subject to the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, you must have a comprehensive anti-money laundering policy in place. 

The money laundering policy should include details on conducting identity checks and when enhanced due diligence is required.

7. Employee share scheme

Employee share schemes provide a proactive way for businesses to attract and retain talent. There are several options to choose from, including:

Whichever option your business chooses to adopt, you need to have a detailed document stating the scheme's details and employer’s and employee's rights and obligations.


Free EMI Share Agreement template


8. Disciplinary and performance management 

This document should set out the procedure for handling disciplinary and/or performance management matters, including the following:

  • Investigation
  • Formal stage
  • Appeals
  • Outcomes

It’s helpful to link this document to the Grievance Procedure Process to ensure employees have a complete picture of their rights.

9. Grievance procedures

Employers have a legal requirement to document grievance procedures and share these in writing with all employees. 

Primarily, a Grievance Document should state who the employee should contact about a grievance and how to contact this person. It must also provide details of the formal grievance process, how investigations will be conducted, appeals, and what happens if a grievance is raised during a disciplinary process.

10. Employee Exit Policy

Although not a legal requirement, having an Employee Exit Policy in place will not only ensure nothing is overlooked when an employee leaves the organisation, it can help you glean insights into how the business can be improved. 

It is best practice to outline the steps and processes the human resources departments will undertake when a staff member resigns, retires, or is made redundant and also include a checklist and set out what should happen and the questions to be asked at an exit interview.

Get legal assistance from LawBite.

The above ten documents will ensure your business is well-organised and has the correct HR processes and procedures to comply with UK employment laws. Having this level of detail in your HR function will help to make your company attractive to talented employees, investors, and current and future customers/clients.

LawBite has helped 1000s of businesses achieve their commercial ambitions and regulatory compliance. To find out how we can help support you on all employment law matters, book a free 15 minute consultation or call us on 020 3808 8314

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In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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