Contracts of Employment Advice & Support

A contract of employment is a written agreement between an employer and an employee that outlines their role and what’s expected of them in the ‘employment relationship’.  This type of document is a legal requirement in the UK and if you don’t have compliant employment contracts in place, your business could face significant risks further down the line.

So, where do you start? What needs to be included in your employment contracts? And what types of contracts of employment are there? We know these questions can be daunting so to take away your HR headaches, we’ve put together everything you need to know.  

 Why do I need to provide contracts of employment?

How are contracts of employments established?


To comply with the Employment Rights Act 1996, all employees should be issued with an employment contract outlining the main terms and conditions of their employment. All employees and workers must receive a written statement of employment terms – including information on pay, the date their continuous employment began, notice period, sick pay and much more, on day one of their employment. 

Within two months of their start date employers must provide additional information on pension entitlement, disciplinary procedures and collective agreements with trade unions or staff associations.   

A contract of employment is established between two parties, the employer and the employee, when: 

  • The employee agrees to work for the employer 
  • The employer agrees to pay the employee for the work

However, it’s important to remember that this agreement is not legally binding until the following elements are present:

  • An offer is made
  • The offer is accepted
  • You both agree to the terms that are outlined in the contract
  • Consideration (A valuable item that is promised in exchange for a contract. In employment contracts, this would be a salary.)
  • Certainty as to terms
Key areas to include

  • Job title
  • Date continuous employment began
  • Place(s) of work
  • Number of hours/days your employee is expected to work (you will need to outline if the employee is expected to work overtime or unsociable hours) Pay and pay intervals
  • Holiday entitlement and holiday pay
  • Disapliniary rules
  • The probation period and the conditions (if there is one)
  • Restrictive covenants (a clause that stops employees from working with competitors in future)
  • Notice periods
Types of employment contracts:

There are a number of different types of employment contracts, like:

There are additional regulations for employing young people, apprentices, mobile workers, and agricultural workers. Our team can provide you with bespoke employments of contract guidance to make sure that you remain legally compliant no matter who you hire. 


Citation’s employment contract services 


Our team of HR & Employment Law experts are well-versed in the specifics of creating watertight contracts of employment, so we’re best placed to provide guidance on this tricky area of employment law. We can help you:

  • Decide on the right types of employment contracts
  • Draft legally sound contracts 
  • Manage any contract changes
  • Make sure your business remains legally compliant

Why choose Citation?

Our team is made up of highly qualified, UK Employment Law solicitors and professionals who have decades of experience behind them and have supported hundreds of businesses across the UK with their employment contracts.

High-quality service trusted by established brands 

We support SMEs across the UK and have worked with businesses in every sector so you have confidence your employment questions and queries are in safe hands.

24/7 access to our advice line 

You’ll have access to around the clock telephone support via our advice line, manned by our HR & Employment Law experts, who are all either qualified solicitors or certified HR professionals with years of commercial experience. 

Our intuitive HR software, Atlas

Our online platform, Atlas is an all-encompassing HR and Health & Safety management platform. With the click of a button, you can import information like an employee’s name, job title and start date into existing templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch each time.

Get in touch with a member of our team today to get the support you need.

Contracts of Employment FAQs


How am I protected with a contract of employment?

Contracts of employment provide employers with a number of benefits and protective measures including:

They make sure you and your employee are singing from the same hymn sheet. This stops any confusion for both parties and can avoid any potential disputes down the line.

Reference point
If an employee breaches their contract, a written reference point provides you with tangible evidence.

Contracts help create positive working relationships. How? By setting out clear expectations for everyone to follow.

Including additional clauses like confidentiality, conflict of interest and non-compete clauses can act as a deterrent.

How to change a contract of employment

It’s not uncommon for adjustments to be made to an employee’s contract of employment. This could be because of legislation updates or internal business changes.

If you need to make an amendment to an employee’s contract of employment, this should be agreed upon and confirmed in writing as soon as possible. At most, within one month of the change.

Failure to properly notify an employee of a contractual change is considered a breach of contract and can result in a claim being made against you.

A guide to zero hour contracts

What they are, when they should be used and the associated responsibilities.

Download the guide

Fixed-term contracts

Dive into our in-depth free guide for everything you need to know about fixed-term contracts.

Download the guide

Building an employee contract for a care worker

Your FREE contract of employment template for care workers.

Download the guide

Employer rights and responsibilities in the UK

Your free and comprehensive guide to Employment Law

Download the guide


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