A contract of employment is good for employee relations

As an employer it is important to give consideration to how your business manages employment law risk, complying with applicable employment legislation and contractually achieving reasonable flexibility for your business in the employment relationship.

Employers have an obligation under law (Terms of Employment (Information) Acts, 1994 – 2012) to provide each of their employees with a written statement setting out certain basic terms of employment, such as, rate of pay, hours of work, job title and nature of work.  This is the bare terms of the employment contract.

We would recommend the preparation of a shorter form contract of employment dealing with the main terms of employment (be that a fixed term contract, contract for specific purpose, full time contract of indefinite duration or part time contract of indefinite duration) read together with an Employee Handbook which provides information about the employers business and day to day policies and procedures. The two documents together form the employees contract of employment.

There are other terms and conditions that we would recommend that are additional to the basic terms, such as: requirements regarding shift work, grievance procedure, disciplinary procedure including company rules and regulations, provision for lay off/short time etc. We would advise that these items are included within an Employee Handbook.  The handbook would be relevant for all employees and gives the employer flexibility in terms of making changes to the handbook from time to time which on notification to the employee forms part of their contract of employment.

For advice in relation to the preparation of employment contracts contact Colm Kelly or Geraldine Conroy, Solicitor of this office.