Experts warn of hidden pitfalls in ‘family contracts’

Employment law experts are warning that a scheme allowing employees to share jobs with family members could cause chaos for copycat companies.

McDonald’s is pioneering a scheme which allows husbands, wives, grandparents and children over 16 to job-share. The contract is the first of its kind in England.

Neil Gouldson, head of employment law at law firm Rowe Cohen, said contracts like this could be troublesome.

“Instead of training one family member, companies will have to train every member who’s signed the contract. This could be extremely expensive and there’s the danger that training is inadequate and service levels could plummet as a result.

“Employment legislation is complicated as it is and creative HR initiatives must be backed up with watertight employment contracts,” he said.

He also said the recruitment process would become much more complicated.

“Screening an entire family will be costly and time-consuming and it’s possible that the process won’t be carried out as thoroughly as it would be on an individual,” warned Gouldson.

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