The dotted line | When your contracts might be a sign you're a bad employer

Deep Dive Category

When your contracts might be a sign you're a bad employer

Does your firm talk a good wellbeing and fair payments game without backing it up when it gets to the contract? With 84% of new hires having ghosted before they even start, your contract may be losing you time, money and the best talent...

We’ve all been there before: find a job description that sets your heart a-flutter, secure an interview, meet the boss, she’s great! Meet the team – amazing! Benefits? ASTOUNDING? Get the job offer, accept. Get the contract – wait, a second, what?

From no paid sick leave to onerous probationary periods, contracts can be a sticky point of contention between employer and employee, particularly when your claims aren’t backed up by your legalese. And though HR and leadership teams might have employees’ best interests at heart, sometimes the profit margin wins. But can’t a legal team and HR team work together to create the best protection for the organisation, while offering decent working parameters to employees?

Louise Lawrence thinks so.

Working as an employment lawyer at Winckworth Sherwood LLP, which has offices in Manchester, Oxford and London, Lawrence regularly advises employees in the financial services, professional services, property, and PR sectors (as well as other sectors) on their new employment and partnership arrangements.

She spoke to HR Grapevine to give her tips on what employees should look for in a contract, and what are some warning signs. Now, put yourself in the employee’s shoes, relax and let’s get knee-deep in Lawrence’s tips for good contracts!

Potential warning signs that could be indicative of a company culture which is not “people first” is an overly one-sided contract in favour of the employer which contains onerous obligations on the employee, which the employer is not prepared to change.

Minimum benefits could also be a sign, but it really depends on the size and resources of the company – if the employer is a start-up, it may not be able to offer enhanced benefits at the start of its journey.

Potential warning signs that could be indicative of a company culture which is not 'people first' is an overly one-sided contract

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