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Contracts of employment

Clio SpringerEditor'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

New and updated

  • Cases on appeal

    Type:
    Law reports

    Updated to reflect that the Court of Appeal has scheduled Kostal UK Ltd v Dunkley and others to be heard on 22 or 23 May 2019.

  • Date:
    30 October 2018
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    Earlier this year, the European Union introduced a new directive to protect trade secrets and confidential information. Charlotte Marshall of law firm Blake Morgan explains what employers need to do to prevent staff from misusing commercially sensitive information.

  • Nearly half of zero-hours workers want regular shifts

    Date:
    8 October 2018
    Type:
    News

    Almost half of people on zero-hours contracts want to work more hours and in a more regular shift pattern, but almost the same proportion are satisfied with the hours they work.

  • Deductions from wages: Tribunals have jurisdiction to construe employment contract

    Date:
    5 October 2018
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Agarwal v Cardiff University and another; Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive t/a Nexus v Anderson and others, the Court of Appeal held that employment tribunals have jurisdiction to construe contractual terms in the context of a claim for unlawful deductions from wages.

  • Express and implied contract terms

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on Patel v Folkestone Nursing Home Ltd, in which the Court of Appeal considered the implications of the employer's failure to address a serious allegation in its appeal letter.

  • Law Commission confirms electronic signatures are valid

    Date:
    23 August 2018
    Type:
    News

    The Law Commission has confirmed that electronic signatures can be used to sign formal legal documents, such as employment contracts, in a bid to remove some of the confusion about their validity.

  • High number of non-disclosure agreements signed by TfL leavers

    Date:
    7 August 2018
    Type:
    News

    More than 800 employees who left Transport for London (TfL) in 2017-18 signed non-disclosure agreements, it has emerged, sparking sharp criticism in the London Assembly.

  • Podcast: Five key cases for HR to look out for

    Date:
    6 July 2018
    Type:
    Audio and video

    The headlines are being dominated by "gig economy" employment status cases, but there are plenty of other important employment law cases coming up. We discuss the potential implications for employers of forthcoming rulings on whistleblowing, data protection, restrictive covenants, covert CCTV and violence at work-related social events.

  • Types of contract

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on Roddis v Sheffield Hallam University, concerning the comparator for a claim under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, by a lecturer on a zero-hours contract.

  • Part-time workers: Zero hours lecturer could compare himself to permanent full-time lecturer

    Date:
    21 June 2018
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Roddis v Sheffield Hallam University, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that a lecturer employed under a zero hours contract was employed under the same type of contract as a permanent full-time lecturer for the purposes of his claim of less favourable treatment under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551).

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HR and legal information and guidance relating to contracts of employment.