Here our employment law team answers some employees’ questions about employment contracts and terms and conditions of employment. If you need employment contract advice contact our specialist employment law team at your nearest office.
Yes – provided you are an employee, your employer should give you a document which meets the requirements of a written statement of employment particulars. See the answer to question 3.
However, if you are a worker or a contractor then you do not have the right to a written contract.
Your employer should provide a written statement of particulars within two months of you starting your employment – or if you will be working abroad for more than one month, before you leave the country.
Even if you leave your job within two months then your employer must still give you a written statement of terms.
As a minimum your contract should include:
Where you will be required to work outside the United Kingdom for a period of more than one month then additional information must be provided.
Not necessarily. Whilst your contract may contain disciplinary policies, it could refer you to other documents, such as a Staff Handbook, where the policy can be found. This is because many employers want to be able to update their disciplinary policies and it is harder for them to do this if the policy is written into your contract. Also, if a disciplinary is contained in your contract and your employer does not follow it to the letter, then your employer may be in breach of contract.
Yes. Your employer can include terms in your contract which prevent you from working for other companies, e.g. competitors, during your employment and devote all of your time to the company.
Yes – it is lawful for employers to offer zero-hours contracts. However, these contracts should reflect that your hours are variable and they should not be used to disguise the fact that you are an employee on fixed hours.
In principle, yes. Many employers ask their staff to enter into contracts containing post-termination covenants by which the employer require their staff not to work for competing local businesses for a fixed period of time. If you were to breach a post-termination covenant then in certain situations your employer could apply to Court for an injunction and also an award of compensation. However, this does not give employers a free rein because post-termination covenants must be reasonable in order to be enforceable, and they must protect their business interests. If you are concerned about agreeing to post-termination covenants in your contract – or if you are unsure whether taking up a new job might put you in breach of post-termination covenants from your previous job – then you should seek advice from a specialist employment lawyer.
Your contract of employment should state what notice period you are entitled to receive but this is subject to the statutory minimum:
Yes. It means that your employer can dismiss you and pay you for your notice period, as an alternative to giving you notice and letting you work your notice.
Where there is a PILON clause any payment made under it is always taxable. This can affect any money your employer might offer you when you leave.
No. You are entitled to refuse to work more than 48 hours per week. Also, the law prevents your employer from treating you unfairly because you have refused to sign an “opt-out” clause.