Guest blog: what do I do if staff don’t return a signed contract?
I often get asked by salon owners for advice on what to do if staff refuse to sign their contract of employment, or simply fail to do so. I always recommend issuing contracts in the first week of employment. It’s a bit of work but eliminates all the later headaches.
What's the process?
You then give staff seven days to either sign and return their contract or to raise concerns with you. If it doesn’t happen, you release them in their trial period or make it clear that this is your plan if the contract doesn’t arrive signed by a second later deadline – in other words, give them a second chance.
Alternatively, you could tell them that if it isn’t signed by the second date you will assume they don’t wish to continue with their employment. An even better method is to issue the contract prior to their start date, then the offer can be simply withdrawn if the contract isn’t signed and returned prior to them beginning work with you.
What if the employee has concerns?
If the employee has concerns then of course you should try to resolve them, but it should not be an option for them to continue to work if the contract remains unsigned. Employees often believe that if they haven’t signed the contract they aren’t bound by its terms, but this isn’t the case. By taking receipt of it then continuing to turn up for work they have effectively accepted it.
However, don’t leave it to chance. It’s still advisable to write to the employee and confirm that they have accepted all the benefits outlined in the contract and you are assuming, if they continue to work for you, that they have also accepted all terms in the document.
David Wright is a consultant in all aspects of employment practice and law. He is the main employment law consultant for Habia and provides a personalised support service for UK salons.