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Employment Contracts

An Employment Contract is a contract between an employer and an employee which sets out the rights, responsibilities and duties of each party for the duration of the employment.

Although a written contract is not a requirement by law (a verbal contract is equally valid), having a written agreement can mitigate the risk of disputes arising at a later date. It also protects the relationship between the employer and employee by clearly setting out expectations and commitments that can be referred to at any stage of the relationship.

What terms should an employment contract contain?

A basic contract of employment should contain the following information (or terms):

  • The names of the employee and employer
  • The name of the workplace
  • Details of the job title and position
  • The date employment commenced
  • How much the employee will be paid and how and when they will be paid
  • The employees hours of work
  • Holiday and sick leave entitlement
  • How much notice either party has to give if the employment is to be terminated
  • Any relevant trade union provisions
  • A detailed grievance procedure
  • Details of pensions (if applicable)

Express and implied terms

Express terms are terms clearly communicated to the employee either verbally or in a written employment contract or employee handbook. Implied terms are terms not necessarily stated but, due to the nature of the position or long-standing tradition, can be seen as implied. An example of an implied term is if the nature of the position requires the employee to drive a vehicle then it is implied that they must have a valid driver’s licence to perform their duties.

Is an employment contract legally binding

Yes, however, the employer must make it clear which particular terms are legally binding.

Get expert advice

Our lawyers are experienced in drafting and negotiating employment contracts. We will ensure your interests are protected and the document makes it clear each party’s obligations to each other. If you are a start-up company, or looking to expand and take on more staff we can give you sound, solid advice as to how to put together a clear concise contract which will provide the basis for excellent employer/employee relationships.

Our Employment Contracts Team

James Leighton

Managing Director

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