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An employment contract will often be the only binding document that exists between you and your employee. While a contract of employment is not legally required under employment law, having a comprehensive and properly drafted agreement in place can be invaluable when it comes to guarding against claims made by employees or other situations involving employees that could cause harm to your business. The employment solicitors at Wilford Smith regularly act on behalf of employers across England and Wales on a comprehensive range of employment contract issues to ensure that their businesses are protected. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.

Does an employment contract need to be in writing?

An employment contract does not have to be in writing – it can be written or verbal. However, employees have the right to a ‘written statement of particulars’ stating their terms of employment after they have been in their role for two months, however it is highly desirable to have a written contract.

Can I change the terms of my employee’s contract of employment?

It is difficult to change the terms of your employee’s contract without their consent. Consent can be given verbally or in writing, or in some cases can be implied if you change the terms of their employment contract and they continue to work for you for a significant period while being aware of the changes that have taken place.

You have the right to expressly reserve the right to change the terms of your employee’s contract unilaterally. This must be expressed in clear and unambiguous words in the contract itself, and the courts have taken a strict and narrow approach when interpreting such provisions.

What happens if employment contract disputes arise?

Your employee will typically be expected to raise matters informally, either through a line manager or HR representative. If this does not achieve a satisfactory outcome, their next step should be to raise a formal grievance.

Acas provides an Early Conciliation process that provides you with the opportunity to resolve matters with your employee without the need for going to court. If this also proves unsuccessful, the next stage would be for your employee to lodge an Employment Tribunal claim.

Contact our Employment Contract Lawyers

Wilford Smith is a dynamic and forward-thinking law firm based in London and Sheffield. We pride ourselves on our reputation for delivering a service that is client-focused, working closely with you to ensure that the right result is achieved and that your interests are protected. Whatever your circumstances, speak to a member of our employment team for clear, proactive, commercially-focused legal advice.

Call us today on 0808 164 1349 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch.