Terms and conditions of employment


The terms and condition of employment are set out in a staff member’s employment contract. They outline what is expected of staff and what the organization will provide, such as salary and benefits. There may be other terms and condition that are not specifically mentioned in the employment contract, but which the contract refers to.  Those are usually included in the staff handbook.


Terms and conditions of employment
signing terms and conditions of employment


Key issues to consider when setting terms and condition include:


1.      Are they legal? Ensure that the terms and condition are legal and fair. Always consult a lawyer when developing employment contract. It is helpful to ask a lawyer to look at the handbook too.

2.      Are they in line with organizational policy and practice

3.      Are in line with common practice.

4.      Are they accessible and clear? The terms and condition should be communicated clearly to staff. The language used should be appropriate for all staff. If some staff cannot read, rather than using a staff handbook, it will be necessary to find a different way of communicating terms and condition of the contract.

5.      Most terms and condition should apply to all staff. However .there may be variation according to the category of staff or the type of contract a staff member has.


Employment contract:


The employment contract is a legal agreement between an employer and a staff member. It states the business relationship between them, including what compensation the staff member will receive in exchange for the work they do. It outlines the terms and conditions of employment.

It is always best to have a written contract, which should be written clearly in order to avoid misinterpretation. This protects both the employer and staff member throughout their working relationship. Organizations usually have a contract template which can be used for most staff member it is important that a legal expert checks the contract template once it has been drafted. When a new member of staff is recruited, there relaxants details, such as their names, job title and salary are inserted. It is only necessary to check individual contracts with a legal expert if changes in the wording of the agreement need to dated be made for specific staff members. The contract should be signed and by both the staff member and a representative of the employer, and both should keep a copy.


What to consider including in an employment contract:


1.      Names and address: At the top of the contract , names and address of both the employer and the staff member should be stated

2.   Employment: job title refers to the job profile, location of job , whom the staff is responsible to ,start date, types of contract (permanent, fixed, or casual)

3.   Probation period: the probation period is usually the first few weeks of the employment relationship, during this time the staff member is setting into their role in the organization and the employer is monitoring their progress, during the probation period there should be opportunities for the line manager and the staff member to give feedback to each other, this will help build relationship and ensure that the staff member is well supported and carrying out their role effectively.

4.   Grade and salary: grade basic salary per year , how it will be paid , cash or bank transfer, when to be paid.

5.   Deductions

6.   Allowances: such as housing allowances or transport provided

7.   Working hours: number of hours to work per week

8.   Leave entitlement : number of days of basic annual leave entitlement

9.   Sickness and other absence: how and when a staff should inform their line manager if they are to be absent from work if they are sick or in any emergency situation

10.                     Retirement provision: if there is a pension or saving scheme , give details of the amount the staff member will be paid and the amount

11.                     Medical/death in service :give summary of any medical or death in service provisions by the organization

12.                     Notice period : period of notice during probation period ,period of notice after probation , how notice should be given

13.                     Grievance and disciplinary procedures

14.                     Health and safety; refer to the organization health and safety policy, how to inform the organization of accident ,illness

15.                     Expenses: how work related expenses will be paid for example production of receipt

16.                     Equipment

17.                     Changes of terms and condition : in the future the organization may review its term and condition and as a result , may need to change it employment contract with current staff ,it is important to state this in the contract


Staff handbook


A staff handbook is a reference tool for managers and staff. It is usually contains useful information about the organization, terms and condition of employment, and outlines policies that the organization has.

It should be clearly written so that staff can understand it , and a copy should be made available to all staff.


Content of a staff handbook could include:


Introduction to organization

This section should give an overview of the organization. It could include : history ,logo, purpose and mission statement, basis of faith, values statement, details of the organizations long term strategy , information about prayer within the organization , chart of the organizations structure.


Categories of staff

This section should outline the different categories of staff that the organization employs.


Personal conduct

This section should summaries the organizations personal conduct policy which outlines the behavior and attitude expected from staff during and outside working hours.

Terms and conditions

This section should outline the policy and practice associated with a staff member’s terms and conditions. This should reflect the employment contract and include any detailed procedure necessary for the staff member to follow in order to receive their salary and benefits. It should also outline the procedures related to grievance and discipline, including the role and responsibility of the line managers in this process . it could include information about : employment contract , probationary period ,job profiles , grading , salary, allowances , excess hours worked , expenses , working hours notice period , grievance/ disciplinary procedures , equipment , confidentiality ,changes of terms of employment ,main benefits insurance , provision for retirement , leave.


Recruitment and selection


This section outline the importance of a fair and transparent recruitment and selection process and refer to the organizations recruitment and selection policy . it could include the steps in employment process and information about recruitment ,child protection ,data protection ,personal files ,advertising , selection , briefing and induction.


Briefing and induction


This section introduce the staff to the organization and orientation is been given then induction takes place.

Staff development

This section could include details of provision for staff development during employment

Health and welfare

This section could include health and safety policy, general health and safety guidelines, first aid procedures, security policy , pastoral care policy, hiv/aids workplace policy.

Staff policies

This section could include policies about personal conduct, equal opportunities , retirement , staff representation , child protection ,use of the organization facilities.


When developing or reviewing a staff handbook, the following tips may be useful:

1.      Ensure the handbook has taken into account the local legal context and common practice o the country. Always ask a local lawyer to check the final version.

2.      Check that the hand book and contract of employment are aligned with each other

3.      Consider any new policy or practice that is under development

4.      Translate the handbook if necessary

5.      Communicate and train staff and mangers in the use of the hand book

6.      Review the handbook each year to ensure that any changes to local law or common practice have been considered.





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