Dealing with a situation involving breach of contract can be daunting for employees – who may fear they could lose their job, or be penalised in some way, if they complain to their employer about a breach of their contract of employment.
Section 1 of Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that an employer shall give a written statement of particulars to the employee not later than two months after beginning of the employment.
Terms of an employment contract may be set out in writing – or may be implied or included in materials, such as a job description, job advertisement, or in-house job guidelines.
An employment contract might cover any aspect of a job, from the location an employee works at – to holidays, sick pay and any training needed and agreed to.
It is very important that both the employee and their employer understand and agree the terms of the contract.
It is also important to understand that there may be terms implied regarding the contract, even though they are not expressly stated – for example, a duty of trust between employer and employee.
If a dispute arises between an employee and their employer, the contract will usually be the initial focus in any discussions or mediation and the following will be considered:If a dispute arises between an employee and their employer, the contract will usually be the initial focus in any discussions or mediation and the following will be considered:
• Formation of the contract
• Terms of the contract (including implied terms)
• Changes to contractual terms
• Remedies for breach of contract.
Terms of a contract implied rather than stated in writing might include:
• Working with due diligence and care
• Mutual trust and confidence
• Health and safety
• Redress for grievance