To Contracts of Employment need to be in written form?
Contrary to popular belief, a contract of employment does not need to be in writing. A contract of employment can be either written or verbal, however, at the very least an employee is entitled to a “written statement of particulars” of the terms of employment, after being employed for 2 months and assuming that a contract of employment isn’t already in place.
Whilst the written statement of particulars isn’t necessarily a contract, it does need to address the following points;
- Job title
- Start date of employment
- Hours of Work
- Place of work
The following points aren’t a requirement for a written statement of particulars, although the statement does need to address where information regarding these points can be found;
If an employer doesn’t provide a written statement of particulars, an Employment Tribunal can determine what those particulars should be.
Is an Employer entitled to change the terms of your contract of employment?
An employer will find difficulties in trying to alter the terms of employment without having the consent of the employee. Consent can be either verbal or written and can also be implied if you continue to work for a significant period of time under the new terms, so long as you are aware that the change in terms has taken place.
It is common in many contracts of employment for an employee to reserve the right to alter the terms and this is perfectly acceptable providing that it is stated in clear and unambiguous words.
Can you remain and work under protest?
Working under protest is a viable route and you can do one of the following:
- Continue to work under the new terms but make it perfectly clear to your employer that you are in disagreement with the new terms whilst making a claim for breach of contract (via a grievance process). Of course, this can lead to an uncomfortable position, as you are still working at your place of employment whilst suing your employer.
- Being a claim for unlawful deduction from wages, if the terms have resulted in a reduction. As above, you must inform your employer that you disagree with the changes or that you are agreeing under protest.