Monday, 16 October 2006

Check the Small Print

Shropshire employers are being warned to check the small print when it comes to terminating staff contracts.

John Mehtam, Employment Law Specialist at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford, said employees leaving a company were often asked to sign a written contract detailing the terms and conditions of their departure.

“The problem is that many companies rely on a standard agreement which applies to all employees.

“This is a dangerous policy, as a general agreement may not provide the level of protection you need for your company.

“Loopholes may mean former employees could start unfair dismissal proceedings, even though they have signed the agreement and banked the severance cheque.”

John said a correctly drafted agreement was essential or companies could face a difficult time.

“Each agreement must be countersigned by a solicitor, and on average I am seeing between five and ten employees a month who have received these documents.

“Many of the agreements have been drafted without legal advice, and in light of some of the latest court judgements, they appear to be almost worthless.

“They need to be drafted carefully, and should set out the individual circumstances for each employee, as well as detailing the legislation covering the termination.”