How’s this for a contractual term – You must carry in your wallet a laminated picture of Fred and George Weasley – (the wizard twins from the Harry Potter books if you’re not a J K Rowling fan). Not a clause you often see in a contract but Ed Sheeran decided it should be in included in his agreement with his agent.

Sadly, employment contracts aren’t such a good read as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but they are fundamental to the employment relationship.  It’s where you set out details of salary, job title, place of work, probationary periods, etc.  Without a written contract there could be all sorts of confusion about when an employee is expected to work, what happens if they are sick and how much holiday they can take.

And if your employees have access to confidential information and trade secrets you can include restrictive covenants and confidentiality clauses to prevent them using this information for the benefit of your competitors.

Currently, employees have to be provided with a statement of their terms and conditions of employment within two months of them starting work, so you have time to sort this out.  However, from 6 April 2020 the terms will have to be provided on or before the first day of employment, ie it will become a "day 1 right". What’s more, the right to receive a written statement of particulars will be extended to workers, as well as employees.

So now is the time to start looking at your contracts, checking whether they need updating and ensuring you have an up to date version ready to hand to new employees next year. My daughter won’t agree with this, but contracts of employment really are more important than Harry Potter!