The importance of reviewing terms of existing employment contracts

News on 04 September 2019

Why is it important to review contracts?

HR people always tell you that you need to have employment contracts, so you get a contract. Then they tell you that you need to update the contract, but why do you need to do this? We tell you to do this to ensure that your employment contracts remain both legally compliant and effective in protecting your business and managing employee relations. So really it is essential to have them reviewed from time to time, we aren’t just trying to make you do more work.

Employment law changes frequently and therefore employment contracts can become out of date if not reviewed on a regular basis.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Pension auto-enrolment is now in place and it is important that your employment contracts are worded correctly so that they are compliant with the current legislation.

  2. You should review your employment contracts if you wish to make changes and negotiate new terms.

  3. Employers can no longer force employees to retire at a particular age. This means employees can keep working beyond 65 if they want or need to. If your contract still has this clause in it, then it really needs to be removed as it would be illegal to force someone to retire.

  4. Restrictive covenants may also require periodic review in order to maintain their enforceability as the reasonableness of the covenant is judged at the time it was entered into not at the time of the alleged breach of the covenant. Consequently, the restrictive covenants of a long-serving employee who signed a contract of employment when they started their employment may not be enforceable upon termination as they may be deemed to be unreasonable.

  5. Data protection rules changed in 2018 with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). If your contracts haven’t been updated to reflect this, you could be unknowingly committing a breach to the data protection regulations.

  6. From 06 April 2020, new legislation known as The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will come into effect which will require employers to provide a written statement of employment to all new employees from their first day of employment, this entitlement will also be extended to workers under the new legislation.

If you think your contracts need to be updated, just give us a call or send us a message. Alternatively, if you are looking for a brand new contract, you can simply click here…