Contract of Employment
A Contract of Employment is the basis for an agreement between the employer and its employees. What follows are the 'bare bones' of a legally binding agreement between the parties. It is however good practice to draft contracts of employment specifically to suit various categories of employees and to cover more than the basic requirements so as to provide certainty and protection for both parties.
Basis of the Contract
The basis of a Contract of Employment doesn't have to be in writing, it can be a verbal agreement. However, all employees are entitled to a written statement of the main terms of the contract, which must be in writing and provided to them within two months of them starting their employment Effectively, the Contract is made the moment a job offer has been made and accepted by the individual, and upon having done so, both sides are then legally bound by the terms of the contract.
The written statement required to be provided to the employee within the first two months of their employment should be the main terms of the Contract, and must include:
- rate of pay
- hours of work
- holiday entitlement
- sick pay arrangements
- notice periods
- information about disciplinary and grievance procedures
- fringe benefits
- place of work
- the job duties and responsibilities
- redundancy rights
Should (for any reason) the terms of the contract change, then you must give the new information in writing to the employee within one month.
Terms of the Contract
The terms of the contract will be made up of:
- Express terms - those written down or expressly agreed between the parties
- Implied terms which include those necessary to make the contract work
- Terms inserted by legislation, eg the right to equal pay, minimum notice, not to be discriminated against etc
Changes to contract terms
As a general rule, alterations to the contract can only be made with the agreement of both parties. Changes can also be agreed through collective agreements such as those between employers and trade unions.
To further assist in obtaining relevant information, please visit the links below.