Contracts and Handbooks
Whether you have nothing in place or just need an expert review, our Employment Law specialists can carefully craft your employment contracts and employee handbooks to guarantee compliance and provide the flexibility you need as an employer.
Up-to-date, flexible, robust. Whatever contract or policy you’re drawing up, make sure these essential documents work for you by getting them drafted by a legally-qualified professional.
Get your FREE consultation
Submit your details and one of our team will be in touch.
COVID-19 | FREE expert guidance for employers, including sample policies, template risk assessments and more
How we help
Carefully crafted, compliant employment documents
When it comes to employment contracts and HR policies, relying on poorly drafted, off-the-shelf templates rarely ends well, leaving your business unable to take action where necessary and potentially exposed to legal risk.
At Ellis Whittam, we can help you to ensure these cornerstone documents are fully fit for purpose and offer maximum protection for your organisation in any eventuality.
- Tailored to company needs and internal processes
- Manage different categories of workers with specific Contracts of Employment
- Ensure compliance with an Employee Handbook of best-practice HR policies
- Equip managers with process guides and letter templates from our Knowledge Hub, via MyEW
- For immediate practical help, use our 24/7 advice line
Reviewed and robust, with extra help if you need it
If your contracts and policies haven’t been updated in a while, chances are they’re not properly protecting your business interests. They may even be missing important information that means you’re not complying with the law, leaving you exposed.
As part of our Employment Law services, our team of highly-qualified legal experts will not only equip your business with all the documentation you need but will keep your contracts and policies under regular review, ensuring they reflect any major legal changes.
Plus, with access to our Employment Law advice line, you can uncomplicate any tricky contractual issues – and indeed any other employment-related issue – and get clarity on your legal obligations at any time.
We have 2.4 X the number of qualified solicitors than any of our larger competitors
Common contracts and handbooks queries and questions about our service, answered by our Employment Law and HR specialists.
What information should be included in an employment contract?
All written terms of employment have to provide a certain level of information to be compliant with legislation. Since the Good Work Plan came into force on 6 April 2020, the principal statement of employment terms must contain additional information. Download a full list of what needs to be included in an employment contract here.
What types of employment contract are there?
Permanent contracts, fixed-term contracts (either fixed by duration or a specified event), zero-hour contracts, contracts for workers and many more. Each will have its own specific requirements and it’s important to get them right to ensure your employee is on the correct type.
What policies should be included in an Employee Handbook?
There are no hard and fast rules but as a matter of best practice all handbooks should contain information on disciplinary and grievance procedures, absence management, holiday rules and entitlement, performance management, family friendly rights and policies, guidance on equal opportunities and data protection.
What are the risks of not having the right contracts in place?
Failing to provide an employee with a contract could lead to additional compensation being awarded to an employee who successfully makes another sort of claim against their employer. In addition, a number of practical problems could be caused by having incorrect contracts, such as paying too little (or too much) notice, getting holiday entitlement wrong and failing to protect legitimate business interests in the face of an employee leaving for a competitor.
I’m not sure whether my contracts are up to date or not. Can you help?
Absolutely. Employers often use the same contracts and policies for years, only realising they’re out of date when an issue arises. We can conduct a full MOT to assess any areas where they are outdated or fall short, then either replace or revamp them for maximum cover and effectiveness.
How often do HR policies need to be reviewed?
Whenever there are changes to UK employment legislation, such as the recent changes to bereavement leave or the Good Work Plan, it’s important to make sure your contracts, handbooks and policies are updated accordingly. We can take the pressure off by alerting you to any such changes and helping you to implement them in your documentation and practices.
Is there somewhere I can store these documents online?
Yes. Our online platform, MyEW, contains a secure area where you can house all your contracts, handbooks, policies and other important employment documents for easy access. That way, you can refer back to them at any time, ensure only correct versions are being used, and make them readily available to all new managers or HR personnel who might need them.
Where can I go for more advice on a particular employee issue?
If you’re not sure what you can and can’t do under your current contracts, thinking about changing an employee’s terms and conditions, or looking for guidance on carrying out a particular HR procedure, our fixed-fee Employment Law and HR service gives you unlimited access to dedicated experts for personalised, pragmatic advice.
Explore our fixed-fee Employment Law support
We do more than just contracts and handbooks...
Fast, pragmatic, commercial. Our Employment Law & HR advice line gives you and your managers access to truly unlimited advice on all of your people-related challenges, from the seemingly straightforward to the most complex.
What sorts of things can you advise on?
HR matters come with the territory when you run a business or manage an organisation and we’re here to help you through it all. Whether you’re battling absenteeism, struggling to manage an underperforming employee or need help navigating a complicated exercise like redundancy, we can walk you through the steps required to handle the situation appropriately.
Is everything dealt with through one team?
Yes. All of our advisers are qualified legal professionals or on the road to formal qualification, which means a full range of employee issues can be dealt with within your dedicated three-person team. In the event that you’re presented with an Employment Tribunal claim, we will conduct a full handover to our Litigation Team so that they are well equipped to defend you.
95% Client satisfaction rate - 97% Client retention rate
Experts in Employment Law & HR
Why choose us?
At Ellis Whittam, we’re known for our bespoke service and the quality of our support. Not only is our expertise unmatched, but we take the time to know you so that we can function as a true extension of your team.
- Your own small team of dedicated experts
- Commercial, pragmatic advice tailored to you
- Bespoke contracts, policies and handbooks
- Trusted by over 35,000 organisations
- Recognised as a leading firm by the Legal 500
Who you'll be working with
Principal Employment Law Adviser
HR Consultancy Manager
“I’ve taken Ellis Whittam into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
Debbie Jamieson, People Director
“We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Richard Berry, Group HR Director
Bluestone National Park Resort
“What we recognised in Ellis Whittam is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Debbie Rainbow, Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety
“As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. Ellis Whittam is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Joanne Beaver, Operations Director
“We have found Ellis Whittam to be responsive and aligned with our business in terms of our processes and expectations. Their pragmatic approach has proven to be a great fit – nobody wants to be fighting their adviser on basic employment decisions.”
Jonathan Green, COO
“Ellis Whittam supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Lisa Best, Head of Service Delivery
Explore Employment Law & HR news and resources
BLOG On 11 February 2021, dating app Bumble officially underwent its initial public offering (IPO), meaning that its shares could be publicly traded on the
BLOG As we approach the one-year anniversary of the UK’s first national lockdown, an end finally appears to be in sight. On 22 February, Boris
BLOG April tends to be a busy month for employment law. While there’s no Good Work Plan to grapple with this time around, there are
BLOG Chester: 2 March 2021 – Ellis Whittam – the Employment Law, HR, and Health & Safety specialist – today announced the growth of its
BLOG Following a long-running legal battle, the Supreme Court has ruled that Uber drivers are in fact workers, not self-employed contractors. The UK’s highest court
BLOG Though the world of work has turned on its head over the past year, many day-to-day processes remain unobstructed. In fact, a consensus is
BLOG It’s been a trying 12 months for manufacturing. Despite being amongst a small number of industries permitted to remain open during the pandemic, the
BLOG Training can be a great way to raise awareness of appropriate workplace conduct. Equal opportunities training in particular is something that every employer should