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Formation of the employment contract

Updating author: Jeremy Fitzgibbon


  • In order to separate legally binding contracts from other agreements the law requires there to be an identified offer. An offer has to be distinguished from information such as advertisements and brochures which are "invitations to treat". (See The offer)
  • The person making the offer should have authority to do so. (See The offer)
  • Offers that are subject to conditions such as "satisfactory references" are incomplete until the condition is satisfied and acceptance of an incomplete offer does not create a valid contract. (See Conditional offers and references)
  • Acceptance must be by a positive act. (See Acceptance and counter offers)
  • Promises made during an interview may be legally binding. (See Collateral contracts)
  • Each party must get something from the contract - this is "consideration". (See Consideration)
  • If the parties intend that the contract shall not be legally binding it cannot be enforced in the courts. (See Intention to create legal relations)
  • Mistakes, misrepresentation and illegality all affect the extent to which the contract can be enforced. (See Mistakes, Misrepresentation and Illegality)
  • The terms of the contract are fixed when the contract is made. (See Identifying the contract terms)
  • Contract terms should be put in writing. (See The importance of written terms)

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