HR Essentials

Essential HR documents

Whether you are an existing employer or you are a new business looking to employ your first employees, you have a legal requirement to provide an employment contract by no later than the first day of employment. You are also required to provide certain written policies to employees.

At Nockolds HR our team of qualified HR consultants can help you to draft a bespoke employment documents for your business (or review any existing documentation in place to ensure they are fit for purpose).

What is an employment contract and do I need to provide one?

An employment contract is a legally binding agreement between the employer and the employee. 

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, employers are required to issue staff with a written statement of particulars (‘Employment Contract’) outlining the terms and conditions of the employment agreement.  Employers are now required to provide the Employment Contract by no later than from the date that employees commence employment.

What is a staff handbook and do I need to provide one?

Employment related policies are written into a staff handbook or can be stored as standalone policies. There are some key policies which required by law, which are:

  • Disciplinary rules and procedures
  • Grievance procedures
  • Information about pensions (if this is not included in the employment contract)
  • Health and safety (if the company has 5 or more employees)
  • Whistleblowing
  • Data privacy policy

Additional policies may also be included within a company’s staff handbook to support HR practices within the business e.g. family friendly, flexible working, dress code, code of conduct, sickness absence. Where the employment contract provides details on the terms and conditions, the policies outlining the procedures behind these terms may also be included e.g. booking holiday, detailed sickness absence. 

Our team of HR consultants can provide you with the assurances that all of your HR requirements will legally compliant. We can assist you with your HR essentials including:

  • Employment contract – either reviewing your existing contract to ensure its fit for purpose, or writing a bespoke contract for your business
  • Staff handbook – we can review your existing handbook to ensure compliance, or design a handbook bespoke to your business’ needs
  • Policies – does your business need a new policy? We can develop a policy to reflect relevant changes in the workplace e.g. Hybrid working, Privacy, company drivers, parental bereavement etc.

Please contact our team of HR consultants via 0333 400 7920 or email

For legal documents including self employed contracts for services, Directors service agreements and settlement agreements our Employment Lawyers can draft bespoke documentation as per your business’ requirements.