As an employer, you have a legal obligation to provide a written statement of terms and conditions of employment (contract of employment) within two months of an employee commencing employment.
A well drafted contract of employment sets out the employee’s duties and responsibilities in the workplace. It will reduce uncertainty in the employment relationship and minimise the risk of an employee being successful in a claim before the Workplace Relations Commission.
The following information are examples of some of the details which must be included in the contract or written statement of terms and conditions:-
- Full name of the employer and the employee
- The address of the employer
- The place of work or a statement indicating that the employee will be required to work at various places
- Job title and / or nature of the work
- Date of commencement of employment
- If the contract is temporary the expected duration
- If the contract if fixed term the date on which the contract expires
- The rate of remuneration or the method of calculating the remuneration
- Details of how remuneration is paid
- Terms and conditions relating to hours of work (including overtime)
- Terms and conditions relating to paid leave
- Terms and conditions relating to incapacity
- Terms and conditions relating to pensions and pension schemes if applicable
- Period of notice which the employee is entitled to receive and required to be given on termination
In addition to the above, you can include further terms and conditions such as additional benefits, post termination restrictive covenants and confidentiality clauses. It is advisable to have the statement signed and dated, in duplicate, by you and by the employee.
Changes to the contract
You must notify the employee of any changes one month before taking effect. Changes can only be done with agreement of the parties.
Failure to provide written contract of employment
As an employer, if you fail to provide a full and accurate written contract of employment within two months of the commencement of employment or fail to notify the employee of any changes to the particulars in the contract or written statement, the employee may refer a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission. If an employee succeeds in a claim before the Workplace Relations Commission, you may be ordered to pay compensation to the employee of four weeks’ remuneration.
The Workplace Relations Commission also has the power to issue a Compliance Notice to an employer who has failed to give an employee written statement of terms and conditions of employment. The Compliance Notice specifies how the contravention is to be rectified.
It is advisable to issue employees with written statement of terms and conditions of employment once the employee commences employment to ensure that you comply with your legal obligations and to safeguard your business against the risk of claims.
If you ensure that you comply with your obligations from the outset, you will not need to spend your valuable time defending claims or dealing with Compliance Notices. It will also reduce the likelihood of you paying unnecessary costs and possible compensation to employees.
At Douglas Law Solicitors we provide expert advice to employers. We prepare contracts of employment to suit the particular requirements of your business and advise you as to how you can be fully compliant with your obligations under employment legislation.
For more information please contact us on 021 4897256 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org