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Employment Contracts

Usually all employees have an employment contract with their employer, whether it is oral or written. A contract is an agreement that sets out an employee's employment conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties. These are called the 'terms' of the contract.

Employees and employers must stick to a contract until it ends (for example, by an employer or employee giving notice or an employee being dismissed) or until the terms are changed (usually by agreement between the employee and employer).

What is an employment contract and what it contains?

As soon as someone accepts a job offer they have a contract with their employer. An employment contract does not have to be written down, however, it is advised to be in written form to avoid any potential disputes arising from it.

The legal parts of a contract are known as 'terms'. Contract terms could be found:

• in a written contract, or similar document like a written statement of employment
• verbally agreed
• in an employee handbook or on a company notice board
• in an offer letter from the employer
• required by law (for example, an employer must pay employees at least the National Minimum Wage)
• implied terms - automatically part of a contract even if they are not written down

What happens if part of the contract is broken (breach of contract)

A contract may be broken if either an employer or employee does not follow a term in the contract. This is known as a breach of contract. For example, if an employer does not pay an employee in lieu of notice which he or she may be entitled to under the contract or an employee does not turn up to work without any reason, this would be a breach of contract.

If any party breaks a contract, you should try and sort the matter out with them informally first. If this does not work, there are various procedures available for both an employer and an employee.

How can we help you?

LS Legal Solicitors can assist you in drafting employment contracts for your business. Whatever your requirements, we can draft a legally binding agreement and any breach of that agreement may give you a right of action in court. We can further advise you on the effects of the breach of contract and the potential action to rectify the breach.

Please contact our firm on 020 81 44 55 88, via email on info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact box to discuss your matter or make an appointment.