Do you have an employment contract?
A verbal contract of employment is usually easier to prove than a formal written one. However, it is still necessary to have a signed document detailing the terms of employment. This includes the length of the term, the duties undertaken, who is responsible for paying wages, etc. In addition, a verbal contract of employment is not legally binding. You cannot sue your employer unless you have a valid contract of employment, and you are being underpaid or otherwise mistreated.
Do you require an employment lawyer?
A verbal contract of employment does NOT require any formalities to complete. This means that it is very easy to enter into such a contract without needing to go through any legal process. However, once you have entered into such a contract, there are certain important points that you should consider before signing anything. These include:
1. What exactly did you agree to do? Did you agree to work for one employer for a fixed term or did you sign up for a job that could lead to further employment opportunities?
2. What is the length of the contract? Is it a short-term contract or a long-term contract?
3. How much notice will you give? Will you give 2 weeks’ notice or 3 months’ notice?
4. Are you giving notice voluntarily or is it compulsory? If you are giving notice because you want to change jobs, what happens if you don’t find another position within the agreed notice period?
5. Do you have to pay any fees to start working?
6. What are the terms of payment? Are you paid weekly, monthly or annually?
Employees’ rights under an employment contract
An employment contract is a binding legal document between an employer and an employee.
• A fixed-term contract – This is usually one year long. If you sign up for a fixed term contract, you agree to give the employer one year of your labour. After that period, you are free to resign and find another job.
• An indefinite term contract – This is similar to a fixed term contract except there is no end date. You can keep signing up indefinitely. However, once you reach the maximum number of hours allowed per week, you cannot continue working anymore unless you renegotiate your contract.
• A seasonal contract – Seasonal employees receive less money during the off season. They often do not receive benefits like vacation days, sick days, or paid holidays.
• An agency contract – Agency employees are independent contractors rather than regular employees. They are responsible for paying taxes, buying insurance, and filing income tax returns.
If you are unsure about what type of contract you signed, contact your human resources department or your lawyer.
The term express terms refers to the specific details in your contract. For example, if you sign up for a job, it might say something like “You agree to work 40 hours per week.” This is called an express term because it is specifically written into the contract. If there isn’t anything about how many hours you’re expected to work, you don’t have an express term. You might think that you have one, though — maybe you signed up for a position thinking that you’d be working 50 hours a week. But if you find out later that you actually had no idea what your contract says, you might want to talk to a lawyer.
When you start a new job, make sure you ask for a copy of your contract. Even if you already know exactly what your contract says, having a copy makes it easier to remember things like your salary, vacation days, and even whether you’re eligible for overtime pay. Plus, it helps you prove that you didn’t sign something without reading it.
The implied term is a concept used in contract law. An implied term in a contract is one that isn’t explicitly stated, but it is assumed to exist because it makes sense. For example, if I ask you whether you want coffee or tea, we both know that you’ll take either option. However, if I say “I’m making you some tea”, I am implying that you will drink the tea. This is why it is important to clarify expectations during employment negotiations. If you don’t, you could find yourself in hot water later.
Employers must ensure that employees aren’t harassed, discriminated against or bullied. They must also maintain confidentiality. A breach of confidentiality could lead to legal action being taken against the employer.
If you don’t have an employment contract, how do the conditions of employment change?
If you don’t have a written agreement stating the terms of your employment, it could mean that you’re entitled to less pay than what the law requires. This article looks into the different types of employment contracts and explains why employers often try to avoid giving employees written agreements.
The most common type of employment contract is called “at will.” This means that either party can terminate the relationship without cause. In some cases, employers can even make changes to employee benefits without providing prior notice. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. For example, if you work for a public body or government agency, you must follow certain procedures to change your job duties or schedule. If you’ve been working for over one month, you may be able to claim unfair dismissal.
Another important factor to consider is whether you’re self-employed or employed by a company. A person who works for themselves is known as a freelancer, whereas someone who works for another company is considered an independent contractor. There are significant differences between the two. For instance, an employer is liable for workplace injuries suffered by workers while an independent contractor is not.
In addition, many people think that they are exempt from being paid overtime because they work fewer than 40 hours per week. But the Fair Work Act states otherwise. You are eligible for overtime payments if you work more than 48 hours in a seven day period.
Finally, let’s look at how companies handle wage disputes. Most employers use arbitration clauses to resolve disputes about wages. These clauses state that the parties agree to go to court if they can’t reach an agreement. Arbitration is usually cheaper than litigation and avoids delays caused by courts.
Your legal options if you don’t have an employment contract
Statutory rights apply to everyone working in the UK. If you are employed under a fixed term contract, you are protected by law against unfair dismissal. This includes protection against discrimination because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age or nationality.
You are entitled to 12 weeks’ paid maternity leave. Your employer must pay you Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) if you work for them during the period from the start of your pregnancy up to and including the week the child is due.
If you work for a public sector employer, you are entitled to SMP even if you don’t work for them for the whole 26 weeks before the birth.
You can request a written confirmation that you are entitled to SPM.
The government says it wants to make sure employers know what their obligations are.
Do you need a Solicitor?
If you are unhappy about something occurring in your workplace, you could go to court and win compensation. You might even receive some financial assistance to cover the costs of having a lawyer represent you. However, it is important to remember that going to court is a complex process and it is essential to seek advice from a qualified solicitor.
The law requires employers to pay employees for overtime work. This includes working beyond the normal hours set out in an employee’s contract. In addition, there are certain circumstances where employers must pay additional amounts of money to workers. For example, if an employee works over 40 hours per week, he/she is entitled to be paid double his/her hourly rate. Employers cannot refuse to pay overtime rates unless they prove that one of the following exceptions applies:
• The worker is exempt from paying overtime rates because s/he is employed in a low-paid occupation;
• The worker is self-employed and does not qualify for overtime rates because he/she is not engaged in an employment activity; or
• The worker is employed in a public office or body.
In addition, if an employer refuses to pay overtime rates, the employee can bring a case to the Industrial Tribunal. The tribunal will decide whether the employer has acted lawfully and fairly. If the tribunal decides that the employer did act unfairly, it can award monetary damages to the employee.
If you believe that your employer has failed to comply with the law regarding payment of overtime rates, contact us today. We offer a free initial consultation and we will help you understand what options are open to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I resign before or during a disciplinary process?
If you find yourself being investigated by your employer over some form of alleged misconduct, there are several things you can do about it. One option is to resign immediately. This might seem like a good idea, especially if you think you have nothing to hide, but it is important to bear in mind that this could prejudice your chances of getting another job down the line.
You could also choose to fight the allegation rather than resign. If you go ahead with this, you will almost certainly lose your case, but you will still have a better chance of winning than if you just give up.
The most sensible course of action is probably to consult a solicitor. They will be able to advise you on what the best options are and help you decide whether resignation is really the best way forward.
Can my employer insist that I take my holiday during my notice period?
If you are about to end your employment relationship, it is important to understand what your employer expects from you during your notice period. This includes taking your accrued annual leave and/or paid holidays. If your contract of employment does not clearly state how long your notice period should be, it is advisable to seek legal advice.
In some cases, your employer might require you to take your annual leave during your notice. In this case, you must give your employer proper notice of the date you wish to start your notice period. You must notify your employer at least 2 weeks before the date you want to start your notice period, otherwise you risk being charged with constructive dismissal.
You could also face disciplinary action if you fail to use up your accrued annual leave. However, if your contract of employment states that you cannot be disciplined for failing to do something that is required under law, then you should be able to rely upon this provision.