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
Significant changes to the rules on written statements of terms and conditions of employment take effect from 6 April 2020. We set out what employers need to know.
The new year begins with a new government, the prospect of Brexit and a number of employment law developments already on the horizon. What does HR need to do to meet its obligations and prepare for the year ahead?
In Jagex Ltd v McCambridge, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the employee had not acted in breach of contract or committed gross misconduct when he shared pay information with a colleague, after he found a document left on a printer containing the senior executive's salary.
Updated to reflect the Government's announcement in the Queen's speech, on the right to request a more predictable contract.
Updated to reflect that the Court of Appeal will not hear the appeal in Awan v ICTS UK Ltd because the parties reached a settlement.
In Retirement Security Ltd v Wilson, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the employer's "flawed" disciplinary investigation entitled the claimant to resign and successfully claim constructive dismissal.
In Ward v Fiducia Comprehensive Financial Planning Ltd, an employment tribunal upheld a claim for constructive unfair dismissal, finding that the employer had put inappropriate and excessive pressure on the employee to agree to an extended restrictive covenant following his resignation.
Updated to include a reference to Shanks v Unilever plc and others, in which the Supreme Court considered an employee's entitlement to compensation for a patented invention made during the course of employment.
In Shanks v Unilever plc and others, the Supreme Court held that the employee was entitled to receive compensation for his invention because it had been of outstanding benefit to his employer.
In Upton-Hansen Architects Ltd v Gyftaki, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the tribunal decision that the employee's suspension was in breach of the implied term of trust and confidence. The employee was constructively dismissed and, in the absence of a potentially fair reason, the dismissal was unfair.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to contracts of employment.