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Making Sense of Employment Law

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Employment Contracts

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

You must provide your employees with a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two calendar months of their start date. As part of the induction process, it is a good idea to discuss an employee’s terms and conditions with them. This will give them a chance to ask questions and you an opportunity to ensure they understand what’s expected of them.

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

Other implied terms can become part of the contract through custom and practice over time, or through your organisation’s own rules.

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