A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and employee which constitutes a legally binding contract. The term is defined by the Employment Rights Act 1996 as a contract of service or apprenticeship. Employment contracts consist of a mixture of express and implied terms.
Express terms are those which are actually stated in writing or given verbally. Written express terms are not restricted to written employment contracts but can include a number of other documents, such as a staff handbook.
In many cases, the terms must meet minimum legal standards in areas such as the right to paid holidays and the right to daily and weekly rest breaks.
Any employee who has been employed for one month or more has the statutory right to a written statement of particulars of employment. This is covered in more detail below.