The rights and duties of both employers and employees are found in the contract of employment. They are called 'terms' of the contract.
Some of these terms are 'express' terms, which means that they have been expressly or specifically agreed, either orally (at the initial interview, for example) or in writing. Express terms typically include pay, hours and holidays but can be wide-ranging to include, for example, a mobility clause requiring an employee to relocate in certain circumstances. By accepting a job, you are accepting all the terms contained in the contract unless you renegotiate them, in which case you need to make sure you have a written record of the terms you have agreed.
The law states that certain express terms must be put in writing and handed to the employee in the form of a written statement of particulars on or before they start work .
There are other contractual terms called 'implied' terms. These are not expressly or explicitly agreed because they are obvious to both parties or fundamental to the operation of the employment contract. These include the duty not to destroy mutual trust and confidence, the employer’s duty of care towards its employees.
Occasionally, the courts will imply a term in a contract of employment where an important term has been left out, or if a term has been established by custom but not written down, such as a right to enhanced redundancy pay.
Terms can also be imposed through statute, for example the right to equal pay.
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