Employment Contracts

October 3rd 2019

Must every employee have a written contract of employment?

No. Strictly speaking, there is no legal requirement for a written contract of employment between an employer and an employee. 

However, an employer is legally required to provide the employee with a “written statement of terms” within two months of their start date.

What must a “written statement of terms” contain?

The written statement of terms must state:

  • The names of employer and employee
  • The date employment began
  • Any previous continuous employment period
  • The pay rate, how it is calculated and when it is payable
  • Hours of work with any special rules that apply
  • Holiday entitlement including public holidays and holiday pay
  • Sick pay entitlement
  • If there are any pension rights and any contracting out certificate
  • Length of notice to terminate employment
  • Job title or a brief description of work the employee will do
  • Place of work or any requirement to work at different addresses
  • Any trade union or collective agreements in force
  • If the employee will be required to work outside the UK
  • If the employment is intended to be permanent; or if it is for a fixed term, the intended termination date
  • A person to whom the employee can appeal if they are dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision.
  • A person to whom the employee can apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to the employment and the manner in which any such application should be made.

Can a written statement of terms include anything else?

Yes. Employers may also wish to include:

  • Restrictive covenants to try to stop employees unfairly competing with the company after their employment is terminated
  • A clause so that the employee is under a contractual obligation to return all company property on termination.
  • Authorised deductions clause.

What happens if employers fail to provide one?

If an employer fails to provide a written statement of terms, an employee can complain to an Employment Tribunal.  The Tribunal cannot make an award of compensation for the failure.

Helping you with your Contracts of Employment issues

Spratt Endicott can help you by drafting or reviewing:

  • Contracts of employment
  • Employee handbooks
  • Consultancy agreement
  • Secondment agreements
  • All other types of relationship between a worker and the employer

At times, we can do this in a fixed fee meeting. For more details, please get in touch.

Getting in touch

To learn more about our Contracts of Employment service, please contact Carol Shaw on 01295 204140 or email cshaw@se-solicitors.co.uk