Editor's message: An employment contract, like any other contract, is an agreement between two parties, in this case the employer and employee, to create legal relations. Employment contracts can range from basic statements to intricate agreements.
The starting point is the job offer because this demonstrates a willingness to enter into a legal agreement. An offer is distinct from information such as advertisements and brochures, which are "invitations to treat". Sorting binding offers from other statements made during the recruitment process is not always easy.
An employment contract will be formed when an employee agrees to work for an employer and the employer agrees to pay or provide some other consideration to the employee for that work.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor
An employment tribunal has held, in McCann v Snozone Ltd, that the employer must pay a job applicant damages of one month's salary for breach of contract by withdrawing a verbal job offer that the applicant had accepted.
An employment tribunal has awarded a claimant damages for breach of contract where he verbally accepted a job offer made by the employment agency acting for the employer, and the employer subsequently withdrew the offer.
Practical guidance on drafting an employment contract, including the written statement of particulars; formation of the contract; variation clauses; mobility clauses; collective agreements; probationary periods; confidentiality clauses; garden leave clauses; and post-termination restrictions.
The law on formation of the employment contract, including conditional offers and references, the intention to create legal relations, consideration, and misrepresentation and illegality.
This week's case of the week, provided by DLA Piper, covers whether or not oral assurances given during negotiations that took place before a contract was signed trumped the written contractual terms.
The High Court has held that an employee's application for medical cover under the terms of his new, but unsigned, contract of employment meant that he was bound by its terms, including restrictive covenants.
Matthew Briggs of Osborne Clarke continues a series of articles on employment law myths with a look at some myths around contracts of employment.
Additional information on the law on formation of the employment contract for local authority employers, including offers of contracts of employment for the head of paid service and senior officers in general. To be read in conjunction with the general information on the law on formation of the employment contract.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to formation of the employment contract.