What must be written in an employment contract

What the written terms must include

The following must all be included in the same document (the ‘principal statement’):

  • the employer’s name
  • the employee’s name
  • the start date (the day the employee starts work)
  • the date that ‘continuous employment’ (working for the same employer without a significant break) started 
  • pay, including how often and when (for example, £1000 per month, paid on the last Friday of the calendar month)
  • working hours
  • a brief description of the duties of the job
  • the employer’s address
  • the places or addresses where the employee will work 
  • job title, or a brief description of the job
  • holiday and holiday pay, including an explanation of how its calculated if the employee leaves

The following must also be provided, either in the same document or in separate parts: 

  • the amount of sick leave and pay
  • pension arrangements (if it’s a statutory pension scheme like a workplace pension, the pension provider can provide the information)
  • the notice period either side must give when employment ends
  • how long the job is expected to last (if its temporary or fixed term)
  • any terms and conditions that apply to other employees too (known as ‘collective agreements’)
  • who the employee can contact if they have a problem at work
  • disciplinary procedures (if they’re not included in the document, the employer must provide instructions on where the employee can find them)
  • the process for resolving a problem at work, including how to raise a formal grievance (if this information is not included in the document, the employer must state where the employee can find it)
  • if the employee will work abroad, any terms that apply

If the document refers to other documents or steps the employee must take, it’s a good idea to state:

  • what they are
  • where to find them