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Variation of contracts


Over the life of an employment contract it is likely that some of the terms of employment will change. Some changes, for example, salary rises or promotions, are likely to be mutually agreeable, however, it is also possible that less palatable changes may be required. Employers should exercise caution in varying terms of a contract without obtaining the employee's express agreement to the changes.

Key points 

  • Contractual agreements between two parties cannot be unilaterally changed. Unless accepted by the other party, it can lead to the termination of the contract. 
  • The employment contract should be updated to reflect any terms that have changed, to ensure there is clarity in the relationship. Failure to do so could result in confusion at a later stage. This can done by either issuing a new contract or a letter of variation. Both must be signed by both parties. 
  • The process of dismissal and re-engagement is complex, more information on this is available in our dedicated resource SOSR dismissals and dismissal and re-engagement.