In Chapter 6 of Introductory Scots Law, I examine the various sources of the employment contract which include, amongst other things:
- The written statement of the main terms and conditions of the contract (as per Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996)
- Employee handbooks (e.g. available on employer’s intranet)
- Employer’s policies and codes of conduct (e.g. disciplinary codes)
- EU Laws, Acts of Parliament and statutory instruments (e.g. ERA 1996, Equality Act 2010, TUPE Regulations 2006 , Equal Treatment Directives)
- Judicial precedent and the common law (e.g. Walker v Northumberland County Council 1 AER 737)
So, it was of interest when I saw an article in The Independent this weekend (Saturday 9 February 2019) discussing the importance of examining what employees should be looking for before they agree a new contract. According to the article, no less than 27% of lawyers fail to read their contracts properly before signing a contractual document or agreeing to new terms!
Just remember, of course, that the definition of an employment contract (i.e. a contract of service) can be found in Section 230 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
A link to the article in The Independent can be found below:
“What to check for in your contract before taking a job”
The UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills also has a useful link to a blank template (absolutely free of charge) which provides employers with access to the written statement of the main terms and particulars of employment (so no excuses small businesses!):
Copyright Seán J Crossan, February 2019