Outdated Employment Contracts Can Hurt You

The terms and conditions of an employment contract go straight to the heart of the relationship between employee and employer, providing both parties with security and protection.  They promote transparency and trust, set out what is expected of staff and what they will receive in return.  Ts & Cs contain such details as the employee’s rate of pay, their hours, holiday entitlement and restraints of trade.  The importance of having well drafted employment Ts & Cs in place cannot be overstated.  But if they’re not watertight, businesses may find themselves at a disadvantage when problems rear their ugly head.

That was the experience of Koettermann, a laboratory equipment and facilities company based in Buckinghamshire.  They discovered that one of their employees was also working for another organisation, but there was nothing they could do about it.  Office Manager Robin Whitaker explains.

“We didn’t have a clause in there that said you couldn’t work for another company at the same time as working for us.  We found out that one of our employees was also working elsewhere and when we brought this to his attention he was able to wriggle out of it, because he said he worked for this other company after 5:00 pm.”kottermann
Koettermann took the matter to a firm of solicitors, but eventually came to the conclusion that it would be better not to pursue it any further.
“We were just spending far too much money on something that we weren’t going to win.  We didn’t have a leg to stand on because our Ts & Cs were not up to date.  We just didn’t have a case on the duel employment and taking money from us while working for another company.  We couldn’t sue him.”
Although there was nothing that Koettermann could do about this situation, they did call on the HR expertise of Carolyne Wahlen and Gap HR to look closely at their employment contract Ts & Cs and amend them.

“Carolyne got it all sorted for us.  She tightened up our Ts & Cs ensuring that everything is up to date so that nothing like this can happen again.  She makes sure that we stay within the law when it comes to terms and conditions of employment.”

Although the employee handed in his notice, Koettermann were able to get rid of him with immediate notice because of a number of other issues.  And since that time, Gap HR has been called on to help with a number of other matters, including redundancies.

“We use Gap because we need to make sure we always follow the correct procedures. Otherwise it could end up costing us a lot of money.  Gap HR provides us with clear, good advice in a timely manner.  They ensure we stay professional and focused and they listen carefully to our situation and what we need to implement.”

Robin Whitaker
Office Manager

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