All employees have an employment contract with their employer, although it might not be in writing. If you dont have a written employment contract, your contract would have automatically been created when you started to work for your employer.
What is an employment contract?
An employment contract, or contract of employment, is an agreement between an employer and an employee which sets outtheir employment rights, responsibilities and duties. These are called the terms' of the contract.
Your employment contract doesnt have to be in writing. However, you are entitled to a written statement of your main employment terms within two months of starting work.
The employment contract is made as soon as you accept a job offer. If you start work it will show that you accepted the job on the terms offered by the employer, even if you dont know what they are. Having a written contract could cut out disputes with your employer at a later date, and will help you understand your employment rights.
You and your employer are bound to the employment contract until it ends (usually by giving notice) or until the terms are changed (usually in an agreement between you and your employer).
- The terms of a contract
- Notice pay
- Changes to employment terms
Terms of an employment contract
The terms of your employment contract could be of several different types, some of which do not need to be written down. You should be aware of what the terms of your employment contract are, so that youunderstand some of your employment rights.
- Employment contract terms
Written statement of employment particulars
If you are an employee who has been working for your employer for longer than one month, you have the right to receive a written statement of employment particulars. This must be provided by your employer within two months of you starting,even if you are going to work for them forless than two months. The written statementwill set out some of your main employment rights.
- Written statement of employment particulars
Contract to provide services
If you have a contract to provide servicesor a'contract for services' with someone, thenthis is different from an employment contract and generally means you are self employed.
A contract to provide services is an agreement between you and another person to undertake some work for them (for examplepaint their house). You do not become an employee for this person - you just provide them with a service.
Ifyou area temporary agency worker you may be contractedwithyour agency under a 'contract for services'. Your agency, as an employment business,will be obliged to provide you with a written contract.
- Using employment agencies
- Understanding your employment status
What to do if you have a problem
If you have a problem you should first try to sort out the problem with your employer. You could contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (Acas) for help, or visit the employment useful contacts section for other contacts. If you have an employee representative, such asa trade union official, they may be able to help.
If you cannot resolve the problem with your employer you may be able to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal (Industrial Tribunal in Northern Ireland).
- How to resolve a problem at work
- Employment contacts
- Joining a trade union
- Employment Tribunals: an introduction
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