Employment Contracts, Handbook & Policies

Whether your organisation employs just one or many staff, Irish law stipulates that employers must provide their employees with written Terms and Conditions of Employment and organisational Policies and Procedures.

Employment Contracts, Handbook & Policies

The most effective way to comply with legislation is to provide employees with a contract as early as possible in their employment. If your business employs a small number of staff, you can opt to attach two or three important policies to the employment contract. However, if your business employs a larger number of staff (e.g., ten or more) an Employee Handbook may be a more effective option for your business. 

While employment contracts, policies and procedures are required by law, it makes good business sense to provide your employees with a clear set of expectations about their role from the outset. Not only does this create a platform for discussion and reference, but it can go a long way to helping your employee have a positive mindset and strive for success in their role.  

Find out more about:

Employment Contracts, Handbook & Policies

Employment Contracts

An employment contract provides an employee with important details about their employment with the company. An employment contract must include the following: 

  • Employer name and address
  • Employee name and address
  • The primary place of work
  • Job title / nature of work
  • Commencement date
  • Duration of employment (if for a specific period)
  • Hours of work
  • Remuneration details
  • Details of paid leave, including annual leave, sick leave (paid/unpaid) 
  • Notice period


Depending on the nature of your business or the type of work your employee will undertake, you may need a bespoke employment contract that is tailored to the needs of your business. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for advice about your company’s employment contracts or to have a bespoke employment contract drafted for your business.

Play Video

The Employment Contract

Alternatively, if you require a standard employment contract, you can download a template from our HR Templates page here.

Employment Contracts, Handbook & Policies

Policies and Procedures

Under Irish law, an employment contract must be accompanied by your business policies and procedures (an Employee Handbook may be a more suitable alternative for businesses with more staff, see below)

Policies and procedures documents may include:

  • Grievance and Disciplinary Policy and Procedures
  • Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Equality Policy
  • Maternity Leave Policy
  • Paternity Leave Policy
  • Parental Leave Policy
  • Remote Working Policy


While policy documents may appear to be relatively standardised, it is important to make sure that your policies are a fit for your business. For example, a standard template for a company vehicle policy or a remote working policy may not offer the flexibility that your business requires and you may need a document tailored to your unique needs. To discuss the requirement for policy and procedure documents or to have a bespoke policy drafted for your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Play Video

The Employee Handbook

Alternatively, if you require a standard employee handbook, you can download a template from our HR Templates page here.

Employment Contracts, Handbook & Policies

Employee Handbooks

While the law states it is compulsory to provide all employees with certain policy and procedure documents, such as a Grievance and Disciplinary Policy and a Bullying and Harassment Policy, businesses that employ more staff (e.g. 10+ staff) may find it more effective to provide employees with an Employee Handbook that details a range of policies and procedures across the organisation.

An Employee Handbook is a very useful tool in helping businesses  to employ and manage staff.  An Employee Handbook can provide a strong platform for engaging with employees around expectations and performance and how to apply procedures, such as applying for leave, raising a concern or appropriate use of IT systems.  

An Employee Handbook typically includes the following information: 

  • Commencement of employment information, such as tax information required 
  • Pay related matters
  • Reporting obligations, if unavailable for work
  • Performance management structure
  • Grievance and Disciplinary Policy and Procedures
  • Anti-Harassment, Anti-Bullying and Equality Policies
  • Phone, Internet and Social Media Use
  • Personal presentation – hygiene and grooming
  • Health and Safety – accidents at work 
  • Drugs and Alcohol Policy
  • CCTV Policy
  • Leave entitlements, such as annual leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, force majeure etc


An Employee Handbook can also be tailored to include policies and procedures that are specific to your business. To discuss an Employee Handbook for your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

what clients say

Nigel Heneghan
Managing Director, Heneghan
Read More
Heneghan has worked for a number of years with Teresa Abbey who has provided consistently excellent guidance to the firm across a range of HR matters - including general HR advice; the employee handbook; recruitment; contracts of employment; and employee reviews. She has been an independent confidant to employees whenever this has been required. Teresa has the full confidence and trust of the agency in the delivery of these essential services, which she carries out in a discreet and effective manner.