Setting it down on paper
Rarely is one employer’s contract the same as another, whether it is through the terms and conditions or the employee rights that are provided under it. A written employment contract is a legally binding document agreed by both the employee and employer that states the agreed terms. The contract can set out the hours of work, salary or hourly rate, as well as other more complex details that govern the employment relationship.
In the event that an employee should consider the employer is breaching the contract and therefore wish to resolve the issue, it is always advised to attempt to settle the matter internally. Should this not be possible, an alternative is to contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (ACAS) for advice and assistance. An employee could also seek help from a representative trade union official.
Disagreements or problems in relation to contractual agreements can, in the last instance, warrant a claim to the County Court or, where the employment relationship has ended, an employment tribunal.
Contract for services
Where a worker toils under a 'contract for services' they are more likely to be classified in law as a person who is effectively self-employed and delivering a service, rather than an employee of the countersignatory. However, whatever label the parties attach to the contract is not determinative of its true status.
Agency workers are often provided to businesses under a 'contract for services' and may not themselves be employees of that business. However, in some circumstances the agency workers may be employees of the agency. In such a situation the employment agency is legally obligated to provide workers with a written statement of the terms of their employment.
Contract of employment ("Contract of service")
An individual may be legally considered an “employee” where they have an obligation to personally perform work for their employer, have a mutuality of obligation between themselves and their employer and the employer has a sufficient element of control over their work.
In any new employment a contract exists between the employer and the employee. The contract of employment does not have to be written, but the employee is entitled to a written statement of employment particulars within two months of starting work.
The subject of contracts can be vast and expansive, and an employee's contract and contractual rights can depend on their type of employment. Please see below:
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