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Contract types

A contract of employment is a legally binding agreement between an employer and an employee. It is formed when the employee accepts an offer of employment from the employer. The contract may be oral, in writing, or a combination of the two, though some aspects of the contract must be written down.

Key points

  • The terms of an employment contract will vary depending on the type of role which the employer is looking to fill.
  • Like all contracts, there are specific requirements relating to its construction which must be satisfied in order for a valid contract of employment to be formed.
  • All employees and workers must receive a written statement of initial employment particulars from the first day of their employment.
  • A contract of employment consists of both implied and express terms.
  • Many organisations have a number of rules that determine how the employment relationship should be conducted. Some rules can be expressly incorporated into a contract of employment.
  • Terms can also become incorporated into the contract of employment through custom and practice, as well as additional terms which result from obligations placed on both employer and employee by common law and statute.
  • The employer may restrict the activities of the employee either during employment or for a specific period of time after the employee has left employment using a restrictive covenant.
  • Where either the employer or employee seeks to vary (change the terms of) the contract of employment during the life of the contract, this should be carried out with the consent (whether express or implied) of the employer or employee.

Recent developments 

Kickstart scheme open for applications

Described as an innovative new scheme to help young people into work and to spur Britain’s economic revival, Kickstart has been launched by the Treasury, with full details available at this link.

Businesses are being invited to sign up to be part of the £2 billion scheme which aims to create high-quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK. Under the scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs, organisations can offer youngsters aged between 16 and 24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement.

The Government will fully fund each “Kickstart” job - paying 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. Organisations will be able to top up this wage, while the government will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

Further information on eligibility for applying to join the scheme, and how to apply, can be found in our in-depth section.