Job Title and Description, Disciplinary Powers and Confidentiality
What you include in your employment contract will be determined according to legal and best practice requirements and the nature of your business. Certain rights are imposed by statute regardless of the provisions of your employment contract and other terms are implied by law unless you specifically agree otherwise. Other than the above, you and the employee are largely at liberty to come to your own agreement. Key terms will include:
Job Title and Job Description
These define what the employee can be asked to do and may later be important when defining whether an employer is redundant.
Whilst the giving of warnings and other common disciplinary measures do not require express rights in the employment contract, the right to impose paid suspension, demotion, search powers and the like should be expressly reserved.
It is in any event best practice to have a non-contractual disciplinary policy and procedure, incorporating the statutory right to be accompanied by a fellow colleague or union representative and the provisions of the Employment Act 2008.
In addition, particularly in the case of senior or key employees, further provisions should be considered:
Confidentiality Provisions: Whilst implied obligations of confidentiality prohibit disclosure by an employee of trade secrets both during and after employment, express confidentiality provisions in the contract are important to prohibit disclosure of other confidential information not amounting to a trade secret after employment and requiring the return of company documentation upon termination.
A contractual confidentiality provision is subject to an employee's right to make a protected disclosure in accordance with the provisions set out in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and express wording should be included in the provision to this effect.
Post-Employment Restrictions: To be enforceable, these restrictions (restrictive covenants) must be reasonable and no wider than is necessary to protect the employer's legitimate business interests.
Intellectual Property Rights: There should be confirmation of the employer's ownership of intellectual property created by the employee as part of his job.
Mobility and Flexibility: Whereby the employee agrees for instance, to move to other locations or to allow the employer to make reasonable modifications to the employee's duties. Such a provision must only ever be enforced in a reasonable manner.