Employment is the relationship where a person (“employee”) agrees with another entity (“employer”) to follow their reasonable directions at particular times in exchange for payment (“pay”, “wages”, “salary” etc.). Employment is a very common, long-established legal relationship. It is subject to extensive statutory and case law:
- Employment gives rise to certain rights between the parties relating to matters of social policy, such as limits on minimum wages, working hours, holidays, an entitlement to payment in many circumstances, e.g. sickness, parental situations, and also on termination of employment in many circumstances (e.g. Redundancy)
- British Law protects some employment relationships so that they cannot be varied other than by certain methods
- Tax authorities commonly require the employer to deduct from and account for Income Tax and employees’ National Insurance contributions from pay
- All of the foregoing is subject to obligations on the employer to record, report and account for employment in particular ways. This is commonly undertaken by payroll services).
It is not uncommon for entities wishing to enter into an arrangement for one to provide services to the other, to wish to avoid doing so under an employment arrangement, but seek instead to deal as independent contractors – see our Contract Agreement product. The tax authorities are vigilant concerning such arrangements – and the Courts and Employment Tribunals hostile toward them at the petition of an aggrieved individual asserting employment rights.
For this reason a body of law “testing” whether a relationship is one of employment has arisen, that will include consideration of such matters as:
- What is the background? Did the advertisement specify employment? Is former employment being replaced?
- Rulings by HMRC in certain industries, e.g. Construction
- Employment is normally exclusive - an employee would not normally be free to work elsewhere during employment, nor to substitute another person in their place
- Employment is implied by control - where an employer specifies hours of work (especially break times), working days and methods
- Employees do not usually provide their own tools and equipment
- An employee is integrated into the employer’s business - using the employer’s stationary (e.g. business cards), in their telephone directory, part of teams, with cross-reporting of staff
- The contract should say if the relationship is one of employment.
Where the relationship is employment, the parties will wish to specify the many terms in their relationship - this is especially true of senior employees expected to become a valuable party of the employer’s business. In any case, the law implies a duty on an employer (with a penalty for breach) to provide a written statement of certain employment particulars within one month of employment commencing.
Our employment contract service offers two different products, applicable in slightly different circumstances:
1) For junior employees (i.e. not expected to become a valuable part of the employer’s business - such as cleaning, administrative or casual staff) a basic statement of employment particulars
2) For more senior employees, a full contract, including obligations of loyalty and appropriate controls including post-termination obligations not to compete or solicit.
How long will it take?
The time our work takes to conclude will depend on precisely what we are asked to do, but we would generally expect to have taken your instructions within two days of you having bought this product. We would normally expect to have produced a useable template within 4 working days. Special dispatch may be available where necessary at an extra charge.
Our work for you includes:
- Ascertaining from you the full circumstances
- Preparing an appropriate Employment Agreement template
- Advising on the negotiation and execution of that form
- Offering advice and support throughout the process.
Our work will be charged at a fixed fee of:
- £200 including VAT for the basic statement of employment particulars
- £275 including VAT for a full employment contract.
Our fee applies regardless of how much work we actually do. In some cases this may mean we’ll get relatively better paid for doing less work than in other cases, in which the fixed fee will barely cover our costs. This is simply the nature of the mutual gamble between a solicitor and their client when they fix a fee.
More detail of all these matters will be outlined in our retainer letter which you will be able to review before you engage us, after pressing the “Buy” button on the website.
If you have any questions or require any further information, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.