Editor's message: The contract of employment forms the backbone of the employment relationship. There is no obligation on employers to put contracts in writing (although certain key employment terms must be set out in a written statement of employment particulars). However, oral or ambiguous terms have the potential to lead to disputes - so it is advisable to make sure your terms are clearly set out in writing, so that everyone understands what has been agreed.
While express contractual terms are those agreed between the organisation and the employee - or incorporated from, for example, a collective agreement or a staff handbook - terms may also be implied into the contract. Often this will be by custom or practice, or the parties' conduct, or because of what a court or tribunal deems must have been intended when the two parties entered into the contract.
One of the most important implied terms is the implied duty of mutual trust and confidence - employees claiming that they have been constructively dismissed often cite a breach of this implied term.
Clio Springer, senior employment law editor
Updated to reflect changes to the tax rules on payments in lieu of notice, effective from 6 April 2018.
Updated to include the increase in the maximum compensation for breach of the written particulars requirements, effective from 6 April 2018.
Updated to include new rates of the national minimum wage, effective from 1 April 2018.
Updated to highlight the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation in force from 25 May 2018, on this document.
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Updated to include information on a government consultation, which proposes a right to request a more predictable and stable contract, in response to the Taylor review.
In Tillman v Egon Zehnder, the Court of Appeal held that a six-month non-compete clause that prevented the employee from being "concerned or interested in any business carried on in competition" after termination of employment was unenforceable as it would bar her from being a shareholder in a competing business.
The Government consults on the recommendations in the "Taylor review of modern working practices" for achieving greater transparency and clarity between workers and employers in the labour market.
In Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth  EWHC 2019 HC, the High Court held that a teacher was constructively dismissed when she resigned in response to a knee-jerk suspension. In the circumstances of the case, the suspension had been a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence entitling the employee to resign without notice.
How you're employed or hired can have a bearing on the way you're looked after by your employer, writes Tim Walsh.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to contracts of employment.