Editor's message: A collective agreement is an agreement between a trade union and an employer covering matters such as pay and terms and conditions. According to the most recent report of the Office of National Statistics, the proportion of employees covered by a collective agreement is 16.1% in the private sector and 60.7% in the public sector.
Terms may be incorporated into a contract of employment by reference to a collective agreement, either expressly or impliedly.
Where a collective agreement has been incorporated, the individual employment contract will change automatically if a term is varied by agreement between the employer and the union.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor
Updated to include information on Hills v Niksun Inc, concerning the burden of proof in establishing if contractual discretion was exercised reasonably.
David Malamatenios is a partner, Linda Quinn and Krishna Santra senior associates and Melissa Powys-Rodrigues and Dominic Speedie associates at Colman Coyle Solicitors. They round up the latest rulings.
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.
In Roberts v Governing Body of Whitecross School EAT/0070/12, the EAT held that the employer's "settled intention" to reduce the employee's sick pay by half, based on a genuine but mistaken interpretation of a clause in his contract, amounted to a fundamental breach of contract. Accordingly, the employee was entitled to resign and claim constructive dismissal.
Definition from the XpertHR glossary.
Additional information on the law on common contract terms for local authority employers, including national conditions of service. To be read in conjunction with the general information on the law on common contract terms.
Additional information on the law on variation for local authority employers, including nationally negotiated changes incorporated into contracts and locally negotiated changes incorporated into contracts. To be read in conjunction with the general information on the law on variation.
Additional information on the law on express and implied contract terms for local authority employers, including politically restricted posts and national conditions of service. To be read in conjunction with the general information on the law on express and implied contract terms.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the incorporation of collective agreements into contracts of employment.