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Help for small firms

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

True or false?

The new employee's contract - Myth busting: True or false?

If I take on somebody, and just agree verbally that they'll be working for me, then they don't really have a contract of employment because there's nothing in writing. And if that's the case, I can change their conditions of employment as I go along.

No, that isn't the case. If you verbally offer someone a job and they accept, then a contract of employment has begun at that point and the agreed terms are legally binding. And as soon as the employee starts work for you, then some of their employment rights kick in from day one.

And sooner, rather than later, you will have to put their terms and conditions of employment in writing. Within two months, in fact, when in law, you must give a new employee a Written Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment.

If you don't provide a written statement within two months, you are storing up potential misunderstandings further down the line. The employee may become disgruntled and leave or end up taking you to an employment tribunal.

Download a PDF version of pdf  Help for small firms - new employees contract [44kb] that you can print out.

How useful is this tool? Email webteam@acas.org.uk to let us know.

If you want to know more download the pdf  Recruiting staff guide [408kb].

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