The importance of Employee Contracts: Today’s Thursday Tip

This week's Thursday Tip concentrates on the importance of employee contracts. Canavan Byrne answer some of the frequently asked questions around this area.

Question 1: When should I give my employees a contract?

Answer: You should give employees an employment contract within 8 weeks of commencement of employment. However, since March 2019, the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 outlines that a basic written Statement of Terms must be issued to an employee within 5 days of them commencing employment. This should include the following core terms of employment:

  • Full Names of Employer and Employee
  • Address of the Employer
  • Expected duration of the contract
  • The rate or method of calculation of payment
  • The number of hours work expected per average day and week.

The contract itself normally contains much more information than a Statement of Core Terms.

Question 2: What is the minimum information required in a contract?

Answer: A contract must contain a minimum of the full name of the employer and employee, the address of the employer, the place(s) of work, job title or nature of the work and the date of commencement of employment. It should also include whether the position is temporary, fixed term or the expected duration of employment.

In also must include the rate, method of calculation and frequency of payment, pay reference period for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000, hours of work, including overtime. It must also have a reference to paid leave, sick leave, any terms and conditions relating to pensions and/or schemes, period of notice and method of determining periods of notice.

Question 3: What different types of contracts exist?

Answer: There are a variety of different contracts in the Early Years and School-Age Sector. This includes Permanent (full-time or Part-time) contracts, Term-Time contracts, Fixed-Term (Specified-Purpose) contracts, AIM contracts and Relief contracts. It is important to allocate the correct contract to the correct individual to avoid any misunderstandings.

Question 4: Where can I buy an Employee contract from?

Answer: You can purchase a self-edit Employment Contract Template on the Early Years Shop. This is a downloadable product that will be emailed to you immediately upon purchase. If you are interested in a full HR advisory service, contact Canavan Byrne on 01 623 5908.

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