Contract of employment and policies

Learn about signing contracts and working policies.

ACAS can provide employees and employers with free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice, including on employment contracts. It’s important to make sure an employment contract is signed and returned by the employee, ideally before they start working for you. The contract must be provided on, or before, the start date of the employee. 

An employment contract mentions disciplinary and grievance policies. It’s important to include these, but these shouldn’t form part of the contract of employment. This is so it’s possible to change them from time to time, and the employee can’t complain about breach of contract if the policy isn’t exactly the same as it was before. It’s advised to have a health, safety and welfare policy, which is a legal requirement for an employer of five staff or more. You can find guidance about health and safety policies from the Health & Safety Executive. It’s also advisable to have an equal opportunities policy and a whistleblowing policy. You can also find Girlguiding Policies on our website. These should be explained to the new employee when they join and in their induction.