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Making Sense of Employment Law

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Contract of Employment

A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee and is the basis of the employment relationship. A contract is made as soon as an offer of employment is accepted and at this point, a number of rights and duties arise on both sides. Job offers are often made subject to conditions, such as obtaining satisfactory references.

You should provide employees with a written statement of the main terms and conditions of their employment within two calendar months of their start date. 

Not all terms are explicitly agreed in writing (express terms). The courts have established that all employment contracts have the following implied terms:

  • to maintain trust and confidence through co-operation
  • to act in good faith towards each other
  • to take reasonable care to ensure health and safety in the workplace

Some implied terms can become part of the contract because of the employer and employee's behaviour, through custom and practice over time, or through a firm's rules.

If you want to make any changes to contracts of employment, these should be by agreement with the employees concerned.

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