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Make Your Contracts 'Good Work' Compliant
Agreements in force
A lot of contracts include something called a ‘flexibility clause’. This section specifies that you might want the employee to perform other duties separate from their main role. If you decide to include this clause don’t list particular jobs, it may cause confusion as to what the individual’s role actually is.
You must have a probationary period clause in your employment contracts from April 2020. You have to include this clause even if the employee doesn’t have a probationary period. Holiday accrual during this time is often mishandled. An individual’s holiday begins to accrue from the first day of their employment. It is legal to say that they can only take a holiday as it’s accrued in the first year.
If the employee has a statutory minimum holiday entitlement (5.6 weeks) then annual leave accrues at 2.33 days a month. So, an employee could take four days' holiday after two months, for example.
A training clause is also a legal requirement as of April 2020. You must include any mandatory training the individual must undertake to perform their role. For example:
- Safeguarding training
- Complaints handling
- Conflict resolution
- Working at height
- Manual handling
In some cases, employees may not be able to go on client sites without first undertaking training. You should state this in the contract.
Also, on-the-job training should be classed as working time. As a result, you should pay employees the national minimum wage (at least) if not their usual pay.
Hours of work
You must include a section on the hours you expect the employee to work. This should detail the days of work the individual is expected to work on, as well as the hours. i.e. Monday-Friday.
You can also specify that employees may be required to work a reasonable amount of additional hours. However, you cannot make them work more than 48 hours on average per week over a 17-week period, unless they sign an opt-out clause.
One significant change brought about by the Good Work Plan is the reference period for holiday pay. As of 6th April 2020, the reference period will be 52 weeks, rather than 12.
Other paid leave
You’ll also need a section on other paid leave. You must detail any other time off that staff might get. This includes:
- Maternity leave
- Paternity leave
- Adoption leave
- Bereavement leave
- Study leave
Some employers would love the idea of not having to pay employees when on sick leave. However, it is a legal requirement, so make sure you do so.
After three days, staff are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP). Make sure that any payments for periods of sickness absence are made in accordance with the SSP scheme.
One section that’s missing from the contract is a clause on who to appeal to in the event of a grievance or disciplinary. You need to detail who the individual should report to if they wish to appeal.
Usually, this person is a manager, director, owner or HR representative.
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