One size fits all?

Everyone in the world should wear the same shoes and get them for free from the government. That way no ‘small business owner’ will have to waste money on shoes that fit them. The average small business owner spent more than £1,000 on shoes and clothes last year – all of which could have been provided for free in a standard size and fit by our government! No, really!!

We are talking of course about ‘contracts of employment’ not shoes.

The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) put out a press release yesterday, saying that businesses could save thousands of pounds by using the free advice on Business Link rather than paying for consultants’ advice. The example that was given was drawing up a contract of employment.

This is a blatant example of gross “over-selling” by BERR. BERR does give advice about how to generate a statutory statement of employment particulars, but it does not give advice about constructing a good contract of employment. A good contract gives proper protection to the business in dealing effectively with problem employees. The statutory statement is often confused with a ‘contract’, but they are different things. For a free checklist on what a statutory statement should contain visit :

If you are running a standard business with standard people and standard problems that are all the same shape and size, this may work for you. But you are not wasting your time if you want to go beyond that and get something that actually fits your business – or even suits it.

Getting the wrong shoes on the wrong feet can make walking any distance very painful. Getting the wrong contracts for your organisation can cripple you also. If you are a high heeled diva kind of organisation then those hob nailed boots will ruin your style. If you are a heavy duty walk in the country type of organisation, those light weight silver sandals won’t get you very far.

Your journey from start up to success is a long road to travel. Taking that trip with the wrong contracts for your staff will give you a lot more than blisters. By all means put on your free shoes, but as soon as you can get something that fits you better and helps you on your journey. Never buy ill fitting shoes when setting off on a long journey

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.   Tel: 08452 303050  Fax: 08452 303060  Website :  You can follow Annabel on twitter –

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