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We are recognised by the recommendation website Three Best Rated as one of the top three employment law firms in Bristol.

Patch Law

Station Road Workshops
Station Road
Kingswood
Bristol
BS15 4PJ

Patch Law is a law firm authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Should I Sign An Employment Contract?

Apart from browsing potential summer holidays to book, job hunting is another popular January activity that you might be doing.

In the month of resolutions and fresh starts, when swept up with the enthusiasm of looking for and embracing a new challenge, it can be tempting to overlook some of the detail, so as not to focus on the negatives, or risk souring the relationship with a new employer at the outset.

As a result, the hundreds of employment contracts we look at every year are usually for clients when they are leaving a job; it’s much less often that we are asked to look at a contract before it is signed.

Querying (or even reading closely) clauses of a contract of employment, particularly those restricting your activities after you leave (post termination restrictive covenants), is something that few seem open to doing.

I was therefore really pleased to help a client recently who approached us for advice before signing a new contract.  In a role where Intellectual property was key and reasonable restrictions would apply when she eventually moved on, it was important to consider what she was handing over and committing to with the new employer:  she was able to raise – quite amicably – a couple of points with the new employer to have the contract amended slightly to reflect the understanding of both parties.  Contracts are usually the first port of call in a dispute, and if there is any lack of clarity in the contract that only compounds any disagreements.

From the employer’s perspective, issuing almost identical contracts, with standard ‘off the shelf’ restrictions to employees carrying out very different roles, is unlikely to be suitable.  This then runs the risk of any restrictions not being enforceable at all if push comes to shove later on.

A little like ‘pre-nups’ before marriage, too much discussion about contracts at the outset may seem the employment equivalent of unromantic, but, as experienced employment lawyers, we have seen far too many contract problems, which often result in lengthy and costly disputes.

As an employee, read your new contract carefully before signing, and take advice if you are not confident that you completely understand its contents, for both during and after your employment.  Remember, you may leave for a variety of reasons, at a time of your choosing – or not – after 1 month or after 20 years.

For an employer it’s time well-spent to look at the contracts of all staff, and take specialist advice on whether they are compliant, enforceable and adequately protect the business.

Get in touch

If you need help with an employment law issue then please don't hesitate to contact us. An initial enquiry is free and without obligation.

Call us on 0117 290 0905 or fill out the form below and we will contact you within 24 hours.

When your form is submitted you will receive an automatic email from Patch Law confirming receipt.

Why choose us?

  • Expert and Practical Advice
    You Can Trust
  • Prompt and Friendly Service
  • Consistently Positive
    Client Feedback

Some of our Google reviews

5 star review  Positive: Professionalism ,  Quality ,  Responsiveness ,  Value

thumb Molly Cocking
June 1, 2021

5 star review  Positive: Professionalism ,  Quality ,  Responsiveness ,  Value I don't even know where to begin. I feel very lucky to have stumbled across Patch Law. Sonia has been incredibly supportive at helping me through a really tricky time. I 'hear hear' to all of the five star reviews and feedback that has been left below. Thank you

thumb Joanna Sheward
October 25, 2021

5 star review  Highly recommended! Professional, friendly and operate in a timely manner. I have enjoyed working with the team at Patch Law.

thumb stuart hancock
August 1, 2021

Should I Sign An Employment Contract?

Apart from browsing potential summer holidays to book, job hunting is another popular January activity that you might be doing.

In the month of resolutions and fresh starts, when swept up with the enthusiasm of looking for and embracing a new challenge, it can be tempting to overlook some of the detail, so as not to focus on the negatives, or risk souring the relationship with a new employer at the outset.

As a result, the hundreds of employment contracts we look at every year are usually for clients when they are leaving a job; it’s much less often that we are asked to look at a contract before it is signed.

Querying (or even reading closely) clauses of a contract of employment, particularly those restricting your activities after you leave (post termination restrictive covenants), is something that few seem open to doing.

I was therefore really pleased to help a client recently who approached us for advice before signing a new contract.  In a role where Intellectual property was key and reasonable restrictions would apply when she eventually moved on, it was important to consider what she was handing over and committing to with the new employer:  she was able to raise – quite amicably – a couple of points with the new employer to have the contract amended slightly to reflect the understanding of both parties.  Contracts are usually the first port of call in a dispute, and if there is any lack of clarity in the contract that only compounds any disagreements.

From the employer’s perspective, issuing almost identical contracts, with standard ‘off the shelf’ restrictions to employees carrying out very different roles, is unlikely to be suitable.  This then runs the risk of any restrictions not being enforceable at all if push comes to shove later on.

A little like ‘pre-nups’ before marriage, too much discussion about contracts at the outset may seem the employment equivalent of unromantic, but, as experienced employment lawyers, we have seen far too many contract problems, which often result in lengthy and costly disputes.

As an employee, read your new contract carefully before signing, and take advice if you are not confident that you completely understand its contents, for both during and after your employment.  Remember, you may leave for a variety of reasons, at a time of your choosing – or not – after 1 month or after 20 years.

For an employer it’s time well-spent to look at the contracts of all staff, and take specialist advice on whether they are compliant, enforceable and adequately protect the business.

Some of our Google reviews

5 star review  Following a difficult period with my employer, I contacted Patch law for advice. I was first dealt with by Alex, who was extremely professional, personable and sympathetic. She took detailed information regarding my situation and advised me of my best route going forward. Following this, and after taking advantage of their fixed-fee consultation, I spoke at length with Sonia, who again was personable, efficient and professional. Her knowledge and advice was faultless and undoubtedly improved my situation. I would not hesitate to recommend Patch law. I was dealt with in a caring way, with no detail left unexplained, many thanks to both Alex and Sonia.

thumb Ian Lancaster
April 1, 2021

5 star review  Positive: Professionalism ,  Quality ,  Responsiveness In a hurry? Need legal adivce? Look no further than Patch Law. Sonia was incredibly professional, sharp, funny and efficient. She negotiated on my behalf with aplomb. Extremely impressed.

thumb Thomas Harvey
October 11, 2021

5 star review  Positive: Professionalism ,  Quality ,  Responsiveness ,  Value I don't even know where to begin. I feel very lucky to have stumbled across Patch Law. Sonia has been incredibly supportive at helping me through a really tricky time. I 'hear hear' to all of the five star reviews and feedback that has been left below. Thank you

thumb Joanna Sheward
October 25, 2021


Three Best Rated website logo
We are recognised by the recommendation website Three Best Rated as one of the top three employment law firms in Bristol.