Do not take the risk of not having Contracts of Employment in place!


I am amazed how many Companies I still come across that do not issue written contracts of employment to their employees. This is despite employees being legally entitled to a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within 8 weeks of them starting work with the Company.

At Practical HR we believe that the contract of employment is the most important document in the employment relationship.  A good contract will provide a Company with protection and flexibility but a poor contract will leave you vulnerable and inflexible! One of the first questions where there is an employment 'issue' or dispute is "what does the contract say?" as, very simply, it will be the contract of employment that will determine what you can and cannot do in a number of important areas. 

Do not ignore requests from an employee for a written statement of their terms of employment!

Whilst there are no formal penalties or fines for Companies that do not issue a written statement of particulars, an employee can choose to take a concern over having not been given a written contract to an Employment Tribunal, and if the tribunal claim also covers other matters (for example unfair dismissal) where awards can be made, the award could be increased due to the absence of a written statement of particulars. Compensation can be 2 or 4 week's pay, although there is a limit on how much an Employment Tribunal will award for a week's pay.

Fiona Haworth. You can contact Fiona on

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