Your employer doesn’t have to issue you with a written employment contract. However, if your employment is likely to last a month or more, they must let you a statement of terms and particulars. You should get that within 2 months of your employment starting.
The statement should set out:
• The names of you and your employer.
• The date your employment starts and the date your period of continuous employment began.
• Your pay (or method of calculating it) and when you should be paid.
• Your hours of work.
• Your holiday entitlement and how your holiday pay is calculated.
• Your place of work
• Job title or a brief description of your work.
• Place of work.
• Any terms relating to work outside the UK for a period of more than one month.
• Details of any trade union agreements (collective agreements) directly affecting your employment.
Your employer must also provide you other information which is likely to be on the statement of terms. This includes:
• Any terms to do with sickness absence and sick pay.
• The notice periods that you or your employer have to give to end your employment.
• Information about disciplinary and grievance procedures although certain information must be given in the principal statement in any case.
• Terms about pensions and pension schemes.
Where there is a written contract that includes all the terms required by a statement of terms and particulars of employment, there is no need for a separate statement to be given to you.
If your employer has not provided you with a statement or a contract of employment you should ask for this in writing. If your employer still doesn’t provide this, or if there is a disagreement about what your terms are, then you could make an application to an Employment Tribunal for it to determine what your terms and conditions are. Our employment solicitors can help you with these sorts of problems.
If you have been issued with a contract, but don’t understand or like some of its terms, don’t just assume that if you don’t sign the employment contract it won’t be enforceable – this is a dangerous game to play. By carrying on working you are likely to be seen to having accepted the terms. So, if you are not happy with the terms or are not clear what they mean it is best to take advice as soon as possible.