What must be written in an employment contract

The right to a written document

Employees

Anyone classed as an employee has the right to a written document that outlines the main terms of employment, if they’re employed for more than 1 month. 

This written document includes information such as pay and working hours. It's often called the ‘employment contract’ or sometimes the 'written statement'.

According to the law, the employment contract is broader than this document. You can find out more about employment contracts and the law.
 

Workers

Anyone classed as a worker does not have to be given a written document.

But to avoid misunderstandings, it’s still a good idea for the employer to provide the worker’s main terms of employment in writing.

People who work through an agency

For someone who works through a recruitment agency or recruitment business, the right to a written document depends on their employment status. 

If they’re classed as an employee, they have the right to a written document.

If they’re classed as a worker they do not, according to the law, have to be given a written document except in certain circumstances.

But it’s helpful if any worker is given a written document summarising their main rights and responsibilities, like pay and working hours, so everyone’s clear.

People on zero hours contracts

'Zero hours' contracts cover a range of casual working arrangements. Someone on a zero hours contract will usually be classed as either:

  • an employee – they have the right to a written document
  • a worker – they do not have to be given a written document, but a written summary of both sides’ rights and responsibilities is a good idea
What must be written in an employment contract
Employment contracts

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