A worrying new survey has revealed that only one in every 166 workers has fully read and understood their contract, often leading to workers believing they have been unfairly dismissed.
In reality, however, the ignorance regarding contracts often leads to rightful dismissals and disciplinary action.
The survey, which comes from an employment protection agency, revealed that many people skim read their contract, however, claiming ignorance is not a defence against employment action. The research showed that of 1000 employees asked about their contract only 93 had read their contract or skim read the main points (such as holiday entitlement and sick day protocol) Alarmingly, 56% of workers said that they had no idea of what their contract currently was.
The study also found that many workers take action believing that their rights have been violated, however, the vast majority of dismissals are often over breach of a term of a contract. There are many common aspects of contracts that people neglect such as moonlighting elsewhere that can lead to a rightful dismissal.
Some unfair dismissals claims are justified, with employers being perfectly within their rights to do so. However, employees often opt to take legal action even when they are not entitled to do so. A contract can set in stone what you expect of your employees and prohibit any activity. When creating a contract, it is important to lay out any issues regarding discipline you may have and clearly outline what an employee is expected to do.
If you are an employer and require advice regarding the creation of a contract, if you wish to speak to our HR experts regarding the wording of a contract, or for any other employment matter contact us today using our online contact form.