The Employment Law Blog

Common Employment Law Misconceptions: Contract of Employment

“I have employed someone on a part-time basis for the last year and they keep asking me to give them a contract of employment. Am I obliged to do this?”

No individual, regardless of their employment status is entitled to a contract of employment. If however, the individual you employ is considered to be an employee and they have been employed for more than one month, they are entitled to a written statement that confirms their particulars of employment. This will include: their job title, hours of work, the scale or rate of their pay, their holiday entitlement and the method of calculating holiday, the length of notice both you as their employer and the employee is required to give to terminate employment and some other key pieces of information. Some employers choose to include all of this information in a contract to provide more certainty but there is no legal requirement to do this. A written statement is required regardless of whether the employee is full-time, part-time or fixed-term; providing they meet the above requirements.

In the situation you describe, an employee could bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal for your failure to issue them with written particulars of employment. The result may be that a Tribunal awards a declaration which confirms what those terms are, had they been set out as part of a written statement. If, on the other hand, the employee is successful in bringing another, specific claim in the Employment Tribunal against you, such as that they have been unfairly dismissed or that there has been an unlawful deduction from their wages, the employee may be entitled to receive compensation of between 2 to 4 week’s pay, depending on how bad the failure to provide the information is.

Additionally, you should be aware that if you have given a full-time employee a contract and you have not given this employee a contract due to their part-time status, there is a risk of a claim for treating the part-time employee unfavourably due to their part-time status.

Please note this article should only be considered as guidance and should not be taken as specific legal advice. For further advice on this topic contact us at info@tayloremmet.co.uk and 0114 218 4307.

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