Employment contract: standard for any employee

A complete contract of employment suitable for all staff below director level in an organisation of any type or size. The document provides strong protection for the employer organisation. The employee may be full time, part time or temporary.
Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
  • Solicitor approved
  • Plain English makes editing easy
  • Guidance notes included
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What this employment contract template covers

This employment contract covers all legal requirements for information to be given to an employee. It is a carefully considered framework for fair and full protection of the employer and compliance with organisational requirements. Use of plain English makes editing easy and allows it to be understood by all parties.

The size or business of the employer organisation is not important, nor is the position of the employee (this contract can be used for management too, but Net Lawman does provide employment contract templates written specifically for senior staff.) You should also note that this is not a fixed term contract, which you can find here. Therefore, this document is not suitable for new hires that are fixed term employees.

Details such as employee duties, job title and training provision, can be added easily if required, either within the existing text, or by reference to a job description. In this "information age", all Net Lawman employment contracts are very strong on protection of the employer's secrets and confidential information.

Note: in employment law part time employees, casual employees, temporary employees or trainees have exactly the same rights as full timers. Further, while an employer can offer further rights to an employee as the employer desires (such as a greater holiday allowance or a salary greater than the national minimum wage), contractual terms that make the employee worse off than they already are under the law are not enforceable.This contract of employment is flexible to cover your precise requirements. Provided there are no changes to the law, you can reuse this document for all types of employees.

Law affecting this employment contract template

This employment agreement is regularly reviewed as changes in employment law are frequent. It takes into account that:

  • the rights of all employees are now the same regardless of whether they work full-time or part-time

  • it is unlawful to specify a default retirement age

Additionally, disciplinary procedures now follow procedures recommended by ACAS.

When to use this employment contract

  • for any new employee

  • to replace your existing employment contracts which may be out of date

  • for any level of employee, though most appropriate to junior and mid-level staff

  • the employee may be permanently employed or temporary

  • for organisations of any type: companies, charities, trusts, partnerships, governmental organisations and others

Features and contents of this employment contract

  • Up-to-date and complies with current law
  • Follows current best practice recommendations by ACAS and other bodies
  • All standard terms for a principal statement
  • Strong on protection of employer's confidential information
  • Specifics for different jobs, such as duties and training requirements, can be added easily - either within the text, or by reference to a job description
  • Structured so as to minimise the administrative burden of legal compliance

This contract of employment includes the following paragraphs:

  • Start date and continuity
  • Trial period (also called a probationary period)
  • Employee's job title and description
  • Place of work
  • Work outside the UK
  • Hours of work
  • Salary
  • Expenses
  • Leave for holidays and other reasons
  • Sickness and sick pay
  • Pension scheme details
  • Other business and employment
  • No competition
  • Confidentiality
  • Intellectual property
  • Collective agreements
  • Staff handbook and company policies
  • Bribery and other corrupt behaviour
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures: in line with ACAS recommendations
  • Notice periods and termination
  • Procedure after termination
  • Summary termination
  • Reconstruction or amalgamation
  • Data protection
  • Severance and invalidity

This can also be altered later on provided both the employer and the employee give written consent to the same.

Practicalities this employment contract template covers

A contract, written or verbal is made as soon as the employee accepts a job offer. So as to minimise future misunderstandings, we recommend providing a written employment contract with the offer letter, so that the new employee can return an acceptance letter with a signed copy of the agreement.

Under section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, all new employees must be given a “written statement of employment particulars” no later than the day of starting work. This is a document that sets out the terms of employment (including, amongst others, particulars of job title or description of work, employment start date, holiday entitlement and holiday pay, working hours, and paid leave) that the employer must disclose, known as a “principal statement”. All Net Lawman employment contract templates include all the necessary information to act as a written statement of employment particulars so that you don’t need to provide this information separately in a letter or another one.

Other employment policies and procedures (such as data protection) could be included in the contract. However, especially when you have many employees, changing each employee’s contract of employment (and ensuring consistency between employees) every time a new law changes, can be time consuming and difficult. It is usual, therefore, to place all procedures and policies common to all staff in an employee handbook and refer to the handbook in the employment contract. This is the approach Net Lawman recommends.


This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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