An employment contract is between an employer and an employee, and is a legally binding agreement. It is a common misconception that if there are no written terms governing the employment relationship, then an employment contract does not exist.
In fact, there are a number of ways employment contracts can be formed, including the following:
- Via a written contract signed by the employer and employee.
- In writing through other avenues, such as in a job offer letter or emails exchanged between the employer and employee.
- Verbally through conversations, such as during a job interview.
- Through conduct, where the actions between an employer and an employee show that there is an agreement, even if this is not been written down or discussed between them.
Employers’ obligations for employment contract
For all new employees hired after 6 April 2020, employers must provide a ‘written statement of employment particulars’ from the first day of employment. There are certain terms that these statements must include by law, for example pay, hours and holiday entitlement.
A written statement of employment particulars is not a contract of employment. Contracts of employment are usually more comprehensive than a written statement, and employers are advised to consider including additional terms for their protection, such as confidentiality and restrictive covenants.
An employer will be treated as having met its obligation to provide a written statement of employment particulars if it gives an employee a written contract containing information satisfying their legal obligations, and the document is given no later than the beginning of employment.
Find out more about how we can help your business with employment contracts here.