A contract of employment is an agreement between an employer and an employee. This contract states your rights and duties as an employee as well as the rights and duties of your employer. These rights are known as -terms’ of contract. The contract doesn’t have to be in writing, but you’re entitled to a written statement of the main terms within two months of starting work.
Your contract of employment should be made up as soon as you accept a job offer and both you and your employer are then bound by its terms until the contract ends or until the terms of your contract are changed.
There are many aspects that have to be covered within your contract of employment so we will start with the basic information which is your job title and job description. Your employer technically doesn’t have to provide you with a job description but it is best that you try and get one as it will give you something to refer back to if you feel you are being forced to do unreasonable tasks, it will also state all of your responsibilities, including any extra ones that you may not have been aware of. Your contract of employment will also state your date of employment. This date of employment is the date that you officially become an employee of this particular employer. As well as showing the date that you officially become and employee, your contract, if not permanent, should state when your employment will end.
Two other aspects that will be placed within your contract of employment is your rate of pay and your hours of work. Your rate of pay will state how much you will be paid per year, before tax has been taken off, and when you will be paid, usually either monthly or weekly. When it comes to your hours of work it is important that you check you’re weekly hours and thoroughly read through your contract to see where you stand with overtime. Some contracts limit the amount of hours that you are able to work a week so checking your contracted hours is important to make sure that you are able to work the amount of hours that you agreed to.
Other aspects that should be placed within your contract of employment is your holiday entitlement and holiday pay. Most full-time workers have a statutory right to 24 days’ paid annual leave, and from 1 April, 2009 this increases to 28 days. There are merely just a few employees that might not automatically be given these rights. As well as having information about your holiday entitlement you will also need sick pay information. This part of your contract of employment will inform you about the amount of pay you are entitled to if you are enable to work due to illness If there are no terms or conditions related to pay due to injury or sickness, the work contract must say so.
Every aspect and detail of your employment should and needs to be stated within your contract of employment. If you feel that any part of your contract of employment is breeched at any time during your employment it is important that you seek professional help to find out where you stand legally.