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 include information on Okedina v Chikale, in which the Court of Appeal considered if contractual claims could be blocked due to illegal working.
Updated to include information on Hallett v Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, concerning a junior doctor's terms and conditions on the monitoring of rest breaks.
In The Harpur Trust v Brazel, the Court of Appeal held that holiday pay for "part-year workers" should not be calculated on a pro rata basis, but by applying the approach set out in s.224 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and calculating average weekly remuneration over the previous 12 weeks.
In Okedina v Chikale, the Court of Appeal held that a worker's former employer could not block her contractual claims by arguing that she was working without the required immigration status.
Updated to reflect that the Government has published its response to its consultation on confidentiality clauses.
The government has announced legislation to address the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the workplace - including clauses designed to cover up sexual harassment, racial discrimination and assault.
Updated to reflect changes to the rules on interpreting restrictive covenants outlined by the Supreme Court in Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd.
In Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal and held that a six-month non-compete clause was enforceable because the unenforceable part of the clause was capable of being severed.
Updated to reflect that the Supreme Court allowed the appeal in Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to contracts of employment.