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 that the Court of Appeal heard the appeal in Kostal UK Ltd v Dunkley and others on 22 May 2019.
A model contract clause for use where an employee is expected to create intellectual property, including inventions, patents and copyright, during the course of their employment.
A model contract clause for use where external contractors do work for your organisation that may result in intellectual property rights being created.
A model contract clause for use where an employee wishes to retain ownership of an invention or other intellectual property that they have made prior to commencing work for the organisation.
In Atherton v Bensons Vending Ltd, an employment tribunal held that a small employer fairly dismissed an employee who made a personal attack on the managing director on Facebook. However, the claimant's wrongful dismissal was upheld because the employer could not show that his behaviour was so serious that it was entitled to dismiss him without notice pay.
Updated to include information on Antuzis and others v DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd and others, in which the High Court considered liability for the employer's statutory and contractual breaches.
In Antuzis and others v DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd and others, the High Court held that the director and company secretary were both jointly and severally liable for the employer's statutory and contractual breaches.
Updated to include the increase in the maximum compensation for breach of the written particulars requirements, effective from 6 April 2019.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to contracts of employment.