Are Contracts of Employment really necessary?
A Contract of Employment is an agreement between an employer and an employee that states the terms and conditions of employment across a number of different fields. It sets out the hours an employee works, how much they are paid for their work, how many days’ holiday per year they are entitled to and the employee’s main place of work, among other things. It also gives certain rights to employers and employees to protect both parties in the event of legal action or to prevent exploitation. The rights granted to an employee in a Contract of Employment are in addition to the rights granted to them by law, they do not replace lawful rights.
In the absence of a Contract of Employment, both the employer and the employee have no legal obligations to one another. The employer technically wouldn’t have to pay the employee for their work; the employee wouldn’t be obliged to show up to work because they have no official working hours; in essence, nothing would get done and nobody would get paid!
It is possible to have a Contract of Employment without an official document of the terms and conditions of employment. For example, a verbal agreement between an employee and employer regarding working hours and remuneration could be considered a Contract of Employment. You have agreed that, for a defined number of hours per week/month, an employee will receive a defined amount of money. If this is the case, it is best to write down what has been agreed so there is some sort of record of the terms and conditions of employment.
Furthermore, all Contracts of Employment feature implied terms of employment. These are terms that are present in all contracts, even though they are not explicitly agreed upon. They include things such as providing a safe working environment for employees; maintaining trust and discretion; an employee’s duty to obey any reasonable request made by their employer and an employer’s duty to provide work and payment.
For the most part, there will always be some form of Contract of Employment between an employee and employer, be it verbal or written, though employers are legally obliged to issue employees with a written statement of the terms and conditions of employment within 2 months of the employee commencing work. To avoid ambiguity and protect both parties, it is always best to have a proper written contract drafted that states all of the possible terms and condition of employment well before the 2 month deadline.
For more information on Contracts of Employment or to book a Free Review, please call on 0844 8797286, or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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