Remember the good old days…?! No-one (in the UK) used the word ‘furlough’, few managing directors have ever had cause to use the ‘lay off’ clauses in their contracts and redundancies were the final straws for any business. 
Now, more than ever, its critical to get these right from day one of employment. Contracts are legal documents; if you get them wrong – or even worse, don’t have them at all, (emoji) it could cost you and your business and you could end up in Court trying to resolve the dispute. 
Here’s 5 top tips to getting it right: 
A verbal agreement is not enough 
It’s critical when starting this important relationship that you get everything agreed in writing. This sets the expectations between the business and the employee from day one. No-one likes to think ahead to the day when you will have to dig it out of your bottom drawer (or more likely search your various inbox’s now), but when complications arise, the legally binding contract could be key in s dispute 
Set things out before people start 
Employees should have an employment contract from day one, but ideally wouldn’t it be great if you sent it to them prior to joining so that they are comfortable they have had the time to read and understand it? This starts to build the relationship even before the employee has started. 
Tailored to you and what you expect 
Downloading a template from the internet or using someone else’s contract template is arguably the most cost-effective way to produce a contract. However, using this ‘one size fits all’ approach is risky, as no two businesses are the same. 
The devil is in the detail 
I have seen many contracts that have pages and pages of clauses that have been copied and pasted, and then are often out of date or incorrect for the new employee. Be clear on the key elements of their employment (hours of work, location, pay, holidays, sick pay to name a few) and ensure that the contract states what you expect back in advance 
Get up to date 
If you already have contracts in your business, when was the last time they were updated? Do they reflect the current and future landscape of your business – especially considering all of the new ways we have adopted to working the ways in which businesses have had to pivot in the current crisis. 
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