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Help for small firms

The new employee's contract: A step-by-step guide

The new employee's contract - Step 2

What you should include

The employment contract should include details of:

  • any agreements with other staff, called collective agreements, which affect the employee's conditions of employment. For example, there may be a collective agreement for claiming travel expenses.
  • how you will handle:
    • discipline. Explain behaviour expected from employees, what is not acceptable and say who an appeal against a disciplinary decision should be raised with. For more on handling discipline, see Managing discipline - Investigation to possible dismissal: A guide, another online tool which is part of this series of guides.
    • grievances. If an employee has a problem or complaint, they need to know who it should be taken up with. You should also name the person who will deal with an appeal they might make after a grievance meeting. For more on handling grievances, see Managing a complaint at work: A step-by-step guide, another online tool in the series.
    • absence policies. Say how, when and to whom the employee should report when they are off ill from work. For example, you might expect them to ring work within an hour of their normal start time. For more on handling absence, see Managing staff absence: A step-by-step guide, another online tool in the series.
    • company procedures, policies and important documents affecting an employee's employment and where these can be easily found. These might include policies on health and wellbeing, use of the internet and taking time off for family emergencies.

A sample Written Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment is available to download from our Hiring staff page.

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