Legislation has an important impact on terms and conditions of employment; this is because legislation implies certain minimum requirements into the employment relationship in addition to what is agreed between the parties themselves. The fundamental starting point when considering the legal relationship between employer and employee is always the contract itself, but the relevant legislation must always be considered as well.

The main piece of legislation which governs many terms and conditions of employment is the Employment Rights Act 1996. A list of some of the other legislation which has an impact on what can be incorporated into the terms and conditions of employment is at the end of these Q&As, along with a list of legislation dealing with zero-hours contracts.

Do all employees need written contracts?

Are provisions in staff handbooks part of an employee’s written contract?

What should be in the written statement of employment particulars?

What happens if employers do not provide a written statement of employment particulars?

Which terms can be implied into contracts of employment to supplement the express terms?

What else do employers have to consider in drafting terms and conditions of employment?

Is it legally possible to vary employees' contractual terms?

Does demotion amount to a unilateral variation of contractual terms?

Does an employer need to collectively consult employees if it intends to try and change their terms and conditions by dismissal and re-engagement?

How much notice should employers include in employment contracts?

Can employers avoid payment of bonuses by having a genuinely discretionary bonus scheme?

Can employers include mobility clauses in employment contracts to force employees to relocate?

Can employers include different terms and conditions in employment contracts based on length of service?

What is 'garden leave'?

An employment contract does not contain a garden leave clause. What are the implications of imposing garden leave in such circumstances?

Can an employer make payment in lieu of notice if there is no express contractual provision allowing it to do so?

What types of restrictive covenants should employers include in employment contracts and what happens if the employer breaks the contract?

How far can employers go with respect to the restrictive covenants in employment contracts?

Should employers include both non-solicitation and non-dealing covenants in contracts of employment?

Can employers include a term to recover the cost of the training from an employee who leaves within two years?

What are zero hours contracts and what issues should employers who use these contracts be aware of?

What are illegal contracts in an employment law context and are they enforceable?

Future developments

Explore our related content


Contracts of employment

Introductory guidance to the contract of service, the written statement of particulars, and variations of the contractual terms

Read more