Employment contract

Revision Notes:

The two most common types of employment contracts are:


  1. The Indefinite Contract
  2. The Fixed Term Contract


  • There is no legal requirement for the contract of employment to be in writing

Express and Implied Contractual Terms


A contract of employment will usually be made up of two types of contractual terms. These are express and implied terms.


Express contractual terms – these are terms agreed between the employee and the employer.


Implied contractual terms – at times the court will imply terms by common law or statute. This is even if the contract is written.


  • Some individuals may be required to stay on the premises for “on-call times”.
  • Lunch break spent at leisure is not considered to be working time.
  • ‘Working Lunch’ is considered to be working time (i.e. a meeting during lunchtime).
  • The time spent working abroad is working time.
  • Traveling to and from work is not considered to be working time.


Rest Periods


  • An adult is someone aged 18 or over. A young worker is an individual aged 16 or over.
  • An adult worker is entitled to 11 consecutive hours of rest for every 24 hours they work for their employer.
  • A young worker is entitled to 12 consecutive hours of rest for every 24 hours they work.

Protection of Wages Legislation


  • If an employer fails to pay wages to an employee or worker under the contract of employment, the employee or worker can rely on the protection of wages legislation set out in Part 2 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Relevant Case law:


Dacas v Brook Street Bureau (UK) Ltd [2004] IRLR 358


Sindicato de Medicos de Asistencia Publica (SiMAP) v Conselleria de Sanidad y Consumo de la Generalidad Valenciana [2000] IRLR 845


Hughes v G and L Jones t/a Graylins Residential Home (UKEAT/0159/08)


MPB Structures Ltd v Munro [2003] IRLR 350