The only way to protect your business is to issue a written contract of employment.
Otherwise employment law and case law will apply and they are firmly on the side of the employee.
For example, there is sometimes a mistaken belief that just because employees have worked in a certain way for a significant period of time (without a written contract), there is an implied term entitling them to work that way. While terms can become implied over time, it is not that easy for them to do so.
To protect your business, you need to issue a written contract, because if there is an express term that says differently to the way staff have been working, the express term wins.
For example, if for the last two years they have worked for 25 hours a week, but their contract expressly says they work 30 hours, then they are obliged to work 30 hours a week unless you the employer have specifically agreed to change their hours.
If you want any help with employment contracts, notice periods, and any employment or HR issues, Gap HR are here to help.
Give us a call on 01491 598 600 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss.