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Breach of Contract

The relationship between employer and employee is contractual, with rights and obligations on both sides. 

By law, employers must give all employees a written statement of their main terms and conditions of employment within 2 months of employment commencing.  If you fail to do so and the employee takes you to Tribunal, you may be required to pay up to 4 weeks’ wages in compensation.  The cost of having a contract drafted is considerably less than 4 weeks’ pay. 

Even if there is nothing in writing, a contract still exists. 

The contract contains both express and implied terms.  Express terms are terms that have been specifically agreed, such as salary, hours or holiday entitlement.  Implied terms are terms that have not been agreed either in writing or orally, but are included by law.

Implied Terms ­- employee obligations:

  • To act in the interests of their employer
  • To obey lawful and reasonable instructions
  • To exercise reasonable care when carrying out duties

Implied Terms -­ employer obligations:

  • To pay wages
  • To provide support
  • To provide a safe system and place of work
  • To provide a system for raising grievances

Dismissal is the usual outcome where an employee breaches the contract (remember the ACAS Code).  If an employer breaches the contract, it may result in a constructive dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal or County Court claim by the employee.

Contact us for more information. 

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