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Employment contract template

1-minute read

Business owner and prospective employee signing an employment contract
Lucy England

Lucy England

27 October 2023

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An employment contract is an agreement between a business and an employee. As soon as someone accepts a job offer they have an employment contract, so it’s important to make sure everyone’s clear on the terms.

You can use an employment contract template as a guide to create your own depending on what your business needs. Read on to find out more about what to include in an employment contract, and why it’s important when hiring new staff.

What is a contract of employment?

When you take on a new member of staff, a contract of employment sets out the agreement between you (the employer) and your employee. It starts when an employee accepts a job offer, and it remains in effect until the contract ends (when an employee or employer gives notice) or until the terms are changed.

Although an employment contract usually doesn’t need to be in writing for it to be legally valid, it’s advisable to put something down on paper. Employment dispute body ACAS says that simple misunderstandings over what is or isn’t in a contract are amongst the main causes of employment tribunal claims.

It’s important to note that most employees are legally entitled to a written statement of the main terms and conditions of their employment within two months of starting their job. This is likely to overlap with the contents of the contract, as it must include details of things like pay, holidays, and working hours.

What’s in an employment contract?

An employment contract makes an agreement between you/your company and your employee. It should include an employee’s:

  • employment conditions
  • duties
  • responsibilities
  • rights

Use a template employment contract for your business

You can use an employment contract template as a guide that you can edit and tailor to your business needs. These templates will usually provide sample wording to help you set out things like:

  • job title
  • duties
  • place of work
  • start date
  • length of any probationary period

An employment contract template could also include a suggested outline for describing notice periods, hours of work, salary, performance reviews, holidays, sick pay, pension arrangements, retirement, and other important employment terms.

Where more detailed information is provided in a company policy, rather than the contract itself, a template could give you the option to insert the relevant policy name or refer to the company handbook (if you have one).

How to use an employment contract template

Most employment contract templates are fully customisable, with gaps for you to add in the employee’s job title, your company name and address, and the employment and probation dates.

It’s important that you check the template carefully, making sure it applies to your organisation and the relationship you’re forming with your employee. You’ll need to edit the template as necessary, but at every stage you should make sure you’re complying with employment law and workplace regulations. Seek help from an employment law specialist if you need it.

You and the employee both need to sign the contract of employment, and you should give the employee a copy to keep, and keep a second copy for your business records.

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Andrey Popov/
Lucy England

Written by

Lucy England

Lucy England has been writing for and about small businesses for around ten years. Initially working as a journalist covering tech startups, Lucy has extensive experience writing about insurance, fintech, tax and financial services for brands including Moneycorp and Muse Finance. Lucy has also supported a number of small businesses with their marketing, across industries as diverse as engineering and management consulting.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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