Contracts of employment

Written contracts of employment are a legal requirement. If you don’t have them, quite simply, your business could be at risk.

If you’re reading this and thinking ‘yes, but they’re a hassle’, remember, contracts benefit both you and your employees. They ensure employees know where they stand and what’s expected of them, and they give you a written record to fall back on if they breach them.

So, where do you start? What needs to be included? And what types are there? That’s where we come in.

We take the complication out of contracts of employment. We draft watertight contracts so that you know you’re covered from every angle. We take care of any updates and amendments. We provide you with a means to digitally store and distribute them. And we streamline the contract creation process for new starters.

Want to get in on the action? Fill in the form below to find out more.


Get in touch to organise a free audit of your business.

What’s a contract of employment?

A contract of employment is an agreement – written or verbal – between an employee and an employer. Although contracts don’t have to be in writing to meet your legal requirements, to give you a tangible record of what’s been agreed, it’s better that they are.

Contracts come into force from the moment an employment offer is accepted. And when an employee turns up for their first day of work with you, this is seen as confirmation that they accept the terms and conditions included in their contract.

Contract of employment template

All employees should be issued with a statement of main terms and conditions within two months of their start date.

To give you a flavour of what this should include, here are the key areas that need covering:

Employee’s nameEmployer’s nameEmployer’s addressEmployee’s start date
Employee’s job titleDate continuous employment beganPlace(s) of workAny requirement to work outside the UK
PayPay intervalsHours of workHoliday entitlement
Holiday payAny sickness or injury payDisciplinary rules and procedureWho to appeal against disciplinary action to
Who to raise grievances withFurther steps in the grievance procedurePension scheme informationAny collective agreements
Notice periods   

Don’t worry, we understand it’s a lot to get your head around. For a full understanding of your contract of employment requirements, get in touch with our Employment Law experts on 0345 844 1111 or

Types of employment contracts

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

In addition, there are extra rules about employing young people, apprentices, mobile workers and agricultural workers.

An employee’s employment responsibilities will differ depending on their employment status and type of contract they’re on. It’s therefore incredibly important that employees are issued with the correct contract of employment.

Contract of employment changes

Whether it’s because of legislation updates or internal business changes, it’s not uncommon for changes to be made to an employee’s contract of employment.

If you do find yourself needing to make an amendment to an employee’s contract of employment though, this should be agreed and confirmed – in writing – as soon as possible, or at least within one month of the change.

How does a contract of employment protect you?

Contracts of employment provide a number of benefits and protective measures, like:

Clarity: they ensure both you and the employee are singing from the same hymn sheet. This prevents any confusion from both parties and can avoid arguments down the line.

Reference point: if an employee breaches any of their terms and conditions, a written contract of employment provides you with tangible evidence to refer back to – should the breach require action, this’ll likely help your cause.

Relationships: contracts can help foster positive working relationships. How? By setting out clear terms and conditions for everyone to abide by.

Deterrent: including additional things like confidentiality, conflict of interest and non-compete clauses can act as a deterrent – should an employee have considered acting against any of them, that is.

Contract personalisation

Got lots of new starters? No problem. Our online management platform, Atlas, goes one step further by simplifying the employee contract set-up process.

With the click of a button, you can easily import information like an employee’s name, job title, start date and salary into existing templates, so that you don’t have to create umpteen documents from scratch every time you have new starters.

How we can help

Here at Citation, we know contracts of employment like the back of our hand. From help differentiating between the different types and drafting legally tight documents, to ongoing amendments and easy distribution, we’ve got you covered from start to finish.

To see just how much we can support you with creating contracts of employment – and any other area of HR & Employment Law for that matter, get in touch with our team of experts on 0345 844 1111 or

Citation’s Brexit survey: the results

There are few things more confusing than the current state of Brexit. We wanted to get a better idea of...

Read the article

How is freedom of movement going to change after Brexit?

We still don’t have a lot of certainty when it comes to Brexit. But one thing we do know for...

Read the article

How to boost employee morale in times of uncertainty

When you’re running a business – regardless of size, industry or sector – periods of change are guaranteed. The world...

Read the article

Read more HR & Employment Law news You can also get these alerts by email. Read more

The online systems have made CQC Inspections less daunting as we know we have the necessary documentation to hand.

Mandy Quintance, Manager Eagle House Care Home

Read the customer story

I know I can pick up he phone and be give the answer straight away.

Claire MacNeill, Office Manager Paradigm

Read the customer story

The consultants we work with are absolutely superb - we never have to worry about Employment Law.

Sue Anderson, Finance Director Pendle Doors

Read the customer story

Free Resources

Browse our series of free guides and resources on common issues our clients face, prepared by our in-house experts

See What's new

Pop in your details and we'll call you straight back

We'll get back to you as soon as we can.