A contract between an employer and employee or worker is a legally binding agreement. This could be a 'contract of employment' or a 'contract of service'.
A contract can be agreed verbally or in writing.
What an employer must provide in writing
All employees and worker have the right to a written document summarising the main terms of their employment 'written statement of employment particulars' or ‘employment contract. It includes information such as pay and working hours.
Terms of a contract
'Custom and practice' terms are often unwritten. This type of term could become part of the employment contract, when all of these apply:
- •it's generally well-known in the business or industry, usually over a period of time ('notorious')
- •it's reasonable
- •it's certain
To prevent misunderstandings, it is a good idea for the employer to put specific custom and practice terms into writing.
Terms restricting an employee's actions
An employer might state that an employee cannot take certain actions during their employment or once it ends. For example, after the employee has left, preventing them from contacting the business’s customers for a certain time.
These types of terms are known as 'restrictive covenants'.(hyper link to restrictive covenants page below) They will not usually be legal unless they're clear, specific and time-restricted. Even then, this area of the law can be complex.
Speak to us, we can help explain your options.