The best way to ensure that there are no future disputes is to get your employment contract in writing. It’s the best way to safeguard against future disputes.
So what goes in an employment contract? The purpose of an employment contract is to set out the rights, responsibilities, duties and employment conditions. These are called the ‘terms’ of the contract.
These are the terms that are agreed by the employer and employee. These may be written or oral, but it's obviously preferable to put these terms in writing as if there is a dispute in the future it will be easier to prove what was agreed.
Even though in practice express, oral terms may be just as binding as written ones, they are very much more difficult to prove.
These terms are not stated expressly in the contract because:
A term is not implied simply because it would be reasonable to include it. There are terms which are accepted as commonly implied in employment contracts relating to the employer’s and the employee’s duties. The employer’s duties are:
The employee’s duties are:
These are terms imposed by legislation which automatically apply to any contract.
It's also possible for terms to be incorporated into a contract of employment from other sources, such as a staff handbook.
If you want more in-depth information – from an employment lawyer – about all aspects of employment law, then read our guide Employment Law Made Easy. Packed with tips and expert advice on complying with employment legislation.
This article has been adapted from Lawpack’s Employment Law Made Easy.
Published on: February 3, 2015