• Employment
  • July 28, 2021

What are the Terms and Conditions of an Employment Contract?

An employment contract is between an employee and their employer, typically a written statement with the employee’s agreement to work for their employer and your employer’s agreement to pay the employer for their work. 

This employment contract lays out the terms and conditions of your employment, including the employment conditions, the rights, responsibilities and duties of an employee. 

It is important to include these terms and conditions in an employment contract, so that both employer and employee are aware of their responsibilities going forward, and are clear on any rules and regulations regarding the job.

This LawBite article will detail the terms and conditions of an employment contract, as well as what employment policies are required by law in an employment contract. 

What are the terms and conditions of an employment contract?

An employment contract details the rights and responsibilities - the ‘contractual terms’ - of both the employer and the employee. For an employee, they must be paid for the work they do, and for the employer, they have the right to give the employee reasonable instructions for them to work. These terms and conditions are set out in addition to the employment policies required by law, such as the right to be paid the National Minimum Wage, and the right to paid holidays and sick pay.

As soon as someone accepts a job offer, they have a contract with their employer. Both parties must adhere to the employment contract until it ends, or until the terms of the contract are changed by agreement between the employee and employer. 

A contract might be broken if either the employee or employer breaches one of the terms of the contract, for example unfair dismissal or dismissal without notice. 

This contract of employment comprises two types of contractual terms. These are express terms, and implied terms.

Express Terms

Express terms are terms in the contract of employment which have been agreed upon between employee and employer. These include: 

  • how much the employee will get paid
  • the employee’s hours of work (there is a legal limit for most employees on the maximum number of hours they can work each week)
  • holiday pay (and how much holiday pay the employee is entitled to).
  • sick pay
  • redundancy pay
  • how much notice the employer must give if the employee is dismissed

Express terms might also be found in:

  • the job advertisement
  • a written statement of the terms and conditions
  • anything the employee signed when they started working
  • any letters sent by the employer to the employee before they started work
  • instructions made by the employer on a notice board at work
  • an office manual or staff handbook

A contract is typically written down, but not always. Therefore, the employee should make sure they make a note of anything their employer tells them before they get the job about terms and conditions of being an employee, any rights at work, and any details about pay.

Implied Terms

Implied terms in an employment contract are those which are not necessarily expressed in the contract or orally between the employer and employee, but still form part of the agreement between the two parties. They include terms that might be obvious to both the employee and employer, so there is no need to actually express them. Implied terms include:

  • a duty of trust between employee and employer. This might involve the employer trusting that the employee will be honest about any times they are not working, perhaps through illness or a family commitment
  • a duty of care between employee and employer, as well as towards other employees. This involves the employer providing a safe working environment, and the employee using any equipment safely
  • a duty of the employee obeying any ‘reasonable’ instructions set by their employer. There is no legal definition of ‘reasonable’, and hence it is included in implied terms

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Employment Law can be difficult to navigate. If you were looking to find out what are the terms and conditions of an employment contract, we hope this blog post has been useful in addressing the types of terms in an employment contract, as well as what is typically included in an employment contract.

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In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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