All employees have a contract of employment whether it is in writing or not. Even if your employment contract isn’t written down, you’re entitled to a written statement of the main terms of your employment within two months of starting work. As soon as you accept the job offer the employment contract is made. If you begin working it implies that you have accepted the job on the terms offered by the employer, even if you don’t know what they are.
EMPLOYEE CONTRACT LAW
What is an employment contract?
An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and the employee which sets out their employment rights, responsibilities and duties. These are called the ‘terms’ of the contract and typically include:
- Express contract terms (such as those agreed between you and your employer like wages, hours of work and holiday pay)
- Implied contract terms (such as sick pay and the concept of mutual trust and confidence – whereby employers trust employees not to destroy company property and employees trust employers not to bully them)
- Process of how changes to employment conditions will be handled
- Notice periods and notice pay
If you’re an employee and have been working for more than one month you have the right to a ‘written statement of employment particulars’ from your employer that details the terms of your agreement. Your employer must provide this to you within two months of your start date. The benefit of a written contract is that it can eliminate potential disputes with your employer and clarifies each party’s expectations and responsibilities.
You and your employer are bound to the employment contract until it ends (usually by giving notice) or until the terms are changed (usually in an agreement between you and your employer). If the terms of the contract change your employer must give you the new information in writing within one month. The statement must include details on:
- pay and hours of work
- holiday entitlement and sick pay arrangements
- notice periods
- information about disciplinary and grievance procedures
How can AFG LAW help me with my employment contract dispute?
Your employment contract may be broken if either you or your employer fail to follow the terms of your contract. This ‘breach’ of contract may eventually give rise to a grievance and there are special procedures you must follow in order to successfully pursue a grievance with your employer.
In most instances AFG LAW recommend that you try to resolve the issue with your employer informally. If you feel you must proceed with a formal grievance there is an ACAS Code of Practice which it is advisable to follow and we are familiar with the code. If you choose to not follow the ACAS Code and your grievance gives rise to an employment tribunal claim your compensation (if you get any) may be affected by your choice to ignore the code. There are strict time limits which apply to both grievances and tribunal claims and we can help you to ensure that you keep track of the time and follow the correct process.
AFG LAW can help you to write to your employer, detail your concerns and propose a reasonable resolution to the matter. We can also help you through the process of meeting with your employer and writing a letter of appeal if necessary. We can help if you and your employer opt to attend mediation or make use of the early conciliation option before a full employment tribunal hearing.
If you’d like more information on employee contract law or employment contracts please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01204 377 600 – we’ll explain how AFG LAW’s employment law specialists can help.