Contracts of employment
Written terms of Employment
- A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee and is the basis of the employment relationship.
- A contract ‘starts’ as soon as an offer of employment is accepted. Starting work proves that you accept the terms and conditions offered by the employer.
- Most employees are legally entitled to a Written Statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two calendar months of starting work. This should include details of things like pay, holidays and working hours.
- An existing contract of employment can only usually be varied with the agreement of both parties – speak to us if you want to vary a contract and your employee will not agree – there are possible ways around this problem.
A contract of employment can be a purely verbal document but it is better to have it written down as this will prevent later misunderstandings further down the line. In our experience simple misunderstandings can lead to an employment tribunal claim for a breach of a term within the agreement.
If you have a written contract not all terms will be written down there are some implied into all contracts, such as the employers duty to have a safe working environment. Express terms are written and will include such as pay and holidays.
Other example of implied terms are there because they are:
- too obvious to mention: for example, you would not expect a contract to say that ‘an employee will not steal from an employer’
- necessary to make the agreement work: for example, if you are employed as a driver it is assumed that you have a valid driving license
- custom and practice: some terms can become established over time.