Do You Need A Contract Of Employment?

Do You Need A Contract Of Employment?

A contract of employment exists between employer and employee and forms the basis of the employment relationship. Generally speaking, it covers details such as working hours, scope of the job, holiday entitlement, sick pay, benefits and an employee’s duties and responsibilities.

In April 2020, new rules were introduced which make it compulsory for employers to provide an employee with document stating the main conditions of employment when they start work. This is known as a ‘written statement of employment particulars’ and differs from a contract.

The main document (known as a ‘principal statement’ a wider written statement

The employer must provide employees who commenced work before 6th April 2020 with the principal statement on (or before) the first day of employment and the wider written statement within 2 months of the start of employment.

The principal statement must include at least:

  • The employer’s name
  • The employee’s or worker’s name, job title or a description of work and start date
  • How much and how often an employee or worker will get paid
  • Hours and days of work and if and how they may vary (also if employees or workers will have to work Sundays, nights or overtime)
  • Holiday entitlement(and if that includes public holidays)
  • Where an employee or worker will be working and whether they might have to relocate
  • If an employee or worker works in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is
  • How long a job is expected to last (and what the end date is if it’s a fixed-term contract)
  • The length of the probation period and any terms and condition which apply
  • Any other benefits (for example, childcare vouchers and lunch)
  • Obligatory training, whether or not this is paid for by the employer
  • If the worker is required to work outside the UK for over a month; arrangements for working outside the UK (including period, currency of pay, additional pay and benefits and return terms)
  • The date that a previous job started if it counts towards a period of continuous employment.

Employers must give employees and workers a wider written statement within 2 months of the start of employment. This must include information about:

  • Pensions and pension schemes
  • Collective agreements
  • Any other right to non-compulsory training provided by the employer
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures

Providing written employment contracts is important because it ensures clear terms for both sides. An employment contract allows you to be specific about terms. It also allows both you, and your employee, to refer back in the event of a future dispute and can be used as evidence if necessary. a written employment contract helps promote good working relationships between you and your employee. It shows you as an organised and efficient employer who provides a solid working structure.

For more information about contracts of employment and employment law get in touch with Human Capital Department or visit our website at


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