Employment Solicitors in Bristol Discuss Why You Might Need a Written ContractMarch 29, 2019
Far from being the rule, written employment contracts are more of an exception. A lot of employers prefer an “at-will” relationship which gives both you and your new hire the freedom to terminate the setup for any legal reason. In some situations, however, having a written employment contract drawn up by employment solicitors in Bristol can save you from a lot of problems down the road.
When a Written Employment Contract is Necessary
Written employment contracts give you protection in the event that a work relationship goes south. This safeguard is also useful even when you and your employee part amicably. Here are some situations when having a written contract in place will prove useful:
- Hiring High-Ranking Employees
Hiring key employees such as executives requires more serious considerations than lower level hires. These employees may possess special or unique skills that are very hard to replace should they suddenly decide to leave, leaving you at a great disadvantage.
Written contracts give you a degree of control over factors like how much time their resignation notice should provide so you can find a replacement without putting your operations in jeopardy.
- Protection of Trade Secrets
Does your company work with proprietary information? Stop employees from disclosing them outside of the company through a written employment contract.
If you have new construction innovations, for instance, a construction lawyer in Bristol can help you specify how trade secrets will be used and shared within and beyond the company. The contract should also detail any and all information that your former workers can take after leaving.
- Non-Compete Agreements
Covenants not to compete protect you against employees who seek to set up a competing business right after working for you. This hinders them from using what they learned about your business for their profit, and it can also specify a particular period in which they are prohibited from working as a competitor.
- Copyrighted Material
If you want to keep all documents and work created by an employee during his tenure with a company, then it would be wise to draw up a written employment contract. This can save you from future litigation in case of disputes and ensure that any product done under the company using company resources remain yours.
- Informal Contracts
As an employer, you should be aware that even without an employment contract, you may still be submitting yourself to an implied contract. This can be inadvertently created through an exchange of letters between you and the hire, informal communications that express unintended promises, and even general policy statements in your employee handbook.
It’s best to err on the side of caution – written contracts make all expectations clear from the get go.
Whether you’re working with construction law or white-collar businesses, a separation or severance clause offers great advantage for both you and your employee. This prevents them from seeking additional compensation beyond what the contract states, and this also ensures that your former employees are well-taken care of after serving under your company.
Not all hiring decisions will require a formal written employment contract, but it does provide you and your employee certain protections under special circumstances. An employment solicitor in Bristol will be able to guide you in the right direction when and if a written contract becomes the better decision.