Your rights and employment contracts

When you start work you should get a contract from your employer. All workers and employees should have a contract or a written statement of the terms you are employed under.

Even if you are working for just a few hours a week you have a right to a written statement of terms about your employment after 2 months.

A contract is an agreement between an employer and the person working for them – an employee. Contracts are legal documents.

Statutory employment rights

Some of your employment rights are yours by law. These are your ‘statutory rights’. For example from the first day you start work you are entitled by law to:

  • a pay slip showing how much you are being paid and what deductions are being made;
  • paid holiday;
  • not to be discriminated against.

Find out which employment rights are yours by law

Other employment rights come about because of what your contract says. Employment contracts tell you things like:

  • what the employer expects you to do – your role or duties;
  • how many hours you have to work;
  • where you are expected to work;
  • how they expect you to carry out your duties;
  • how much you will get paid and how often e.g. weekly or monthly.

These are called the ‘terms’ of the contract and they are important. Read your contract carefully before agreeing to it. Make sure that what you expect from work and what your employer expects are the same.

Illegal employment contracts

Some employment contracts are illegal.

Check if your contract is illegal with Citizens Advice Bureau

Different types of employment contract

There are different types of employment contract.

Find out about the different types of employment contract

Changing employment contracts

Sometimes your employer might want to make a change to your contract.

Changes to my contract

Ending employment contracts

Sometimes, you or your employer might want to end the contract.

Find help with ending contracts

Not interested in employment contracts? Choose one of the four options below

OPTION 1 → Pay and pensions

OPTION 2 → Other benefits of working

OPTION 3 → Your health, safety and wellbeing at work

OPTION 4 → Back to the main Work page

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