HR need to ensure people read their contracts


Employers may want to do more to ensure new staff realise the importance of their employment contract, after a survey revealed that only 0.6 per cent of people claim to have read theirs, reports CIPD.
 
A survey by Protecting.co.uk found that 93 per cent of respondents had only skim-read their contract, while the majority (909) of employees asked had not read any of their terms and conditions, or had no memory of doing so.
 
More than half (56 per cent) of the 1,000 people surveyed had ‘no idea’ where their contract was.
 
Mark Hall, a spokesman for Protecting.co.uk, said: "We're stunned. You would have thought that you would read through an important document before you put your name to it, but it appears that for most people that's simply not the case."
 
Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD, said he was not shocked by the findings: “When people start a job they want to know what they are going to be paid, where they are going to work, how many hours and whether there is any flexibility, what the holiday entitlement is and they may ask about pension and sick pay,” he said. Most of which recruiters will confirm verbally, he added.
 
Rachel Reid-Ellaby, a solicitor at Doyle Clayton Solicitors, said people are often under considerable pressure from recruiters to sign on the dotted line, but employers should communicate clearly to employees that their contract could affect them in the long term.
 
"HR should be flagging [to employees] that this is the document governing their relationship with the company, and is also a rule book that can be used to discipline or dismiss someone.
  

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