What Employee Documentation Do I Need For My Business?

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    Many employers find that there is one area of running a business that takes precedent and seems to be never-ending – paperwork!

    It’s extremely important that you are aware of what employee documentation needs to be in place when you start your business so that your employees, and your business, are protected from day one.

    These documents will also need to be constantly reviewed and updated as laws and legislation changes and your business grows and develops.
    But here is some advice and some pointers that you can follow to get to grips with the basics.

    Offer Letter

    As soon as you have hired a new member of staff (PAYE permanent or fixed term) you must send them an offer letter outlining the basic terms of their role and whether the offer is subject to certain conditions such as a satisfactory reference from their previous employer.

    This will ensure that both you and the potential recruit understand the main terms of the perspective employment.

    It is then down to the employee to either accept this offer, or request some sort of negotiation regarding aspects of the job offer such as salary or start date.

    Written Statement

    All employees must receive a written statement within the first eight weeks of starting their employment.

    A written statement is not the same as a contract, which can be agreed verbally, but it must include a similar list of information such as name of employer, date employment commenced, salary, hours of work and much more.
    It is a legally binding document that must be complied to until employment comes to an end or terms are changed.

    Employee Handbook

    Employee handbooks are extensive documents that outline every aspect of company procedures, guidelines and expectations. This includes annual leave, uniform, code of conduct, maternity leave, notice period etc.

    They may not be a legal requirement, unlike a written statement, but they can be useful and are often advised by HR departments and Employment Law Consultants as a key reference point in employee disputes or grievances.

    You should request written confirmation that all employees have read and understood the handbook, this could be via a sign-off sheet at the back of the handbook.


    The workplace policies are another recommended requirement that you must fulfil in order to clearly communicate what is expected of employees. Such documents can assist when dealing with disciplinary matters to demonstrate that any action is fair and reasonable in the circumstances so that unfair dismissal claims aren’t an issue further down the line.
    These can be included in the handbook, if you so choose, but they must be given to all employees as early as possible.

    Similarly to the handbooks, there must also be written confirmation from the employee to state that they have read and understood these policies.
    Examples of said policies include health and safety policy, equal opportunities and discipline.

    Our Guardian Support consultants can not only offer you advice on any of your employee documentation concerns, but they can draft bespoke contracts and handbooks for your business as well as review any current documentation you have drawn up. Call us today on 0845 2626 260 to book a free consultation.

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