Have Your Employees Signed Their Terms and Conditions?
- Date: Monday 21st January 2019
- PDF: Download
Tenon FM v Crawley reminds us that cases may be judged differently, depending on the circumstances.
Following previous caselaw, the message has always been that terms and conditions of employment may be deemed accepted if the employee continues to work under the terms, even if they have not signed their contracts.
In this latest scenario, Tenon tried to enforce restrictive covenants against Miss Crawley, who was set to work for one of their competitors and also attempted to take a colleague with her.
The claimant lost their case, with the Judge explaining that he was baffled by the lack of evidence that the defendant had agreed to work under her terms and conditions, which had been re-issued over a number of years.
The fundamental difference between this case and others was that there was no indication anywhere in Miss Crawley’s file that terms are deemed accepted if no reply is received. A ‘chase’ note was found, issued by the HR department, but no response or any additional notes, recording why Miss Crawley had refused to sign her contract.
Our advice has always been: inform employees that their terms are deemed as accepted within a month (this may vary), should no response be received. Please make sure that that you either hold a signed contract of employment, or this supplementary note on file for each employee.
Should you not have either, please re-issue the terms and conditions, adding the appropriate cover note.
If you are a Premium HR member, we will update your employee handbook to include a clause on the acceptance/rejection of terms during your next audit and handbook review.
Source: Manuela Grossmann, SSG