Not strictly true, a contract can take written or verbal form. Some contracts are even a mixture of both. Other myths have arisen, including with employees who may think if they don’t have a written contract they don’t have any employment rights, which again isn’t true.

However if an employer doesn’t issue a written contract to an employee, they must provide them with a ‘written statement of employment particulars’, setting out the terms and conditions of their employment. This should be for at least for one months duration and be given to the employee within two months of their start date. There are also no small business exclusions from this requirement.

Having said that a written contract isn’t always required for an employee to be an employee, it is always a good idea to issue a comprehensive written contract. This reduces the risk of compensation claims in cases of unfair dismissal or discrimination claims, while also providing a clear statement for both employer and employee on what is required of them.


The information contained in this article is only to be used as a guide and is in no way a substitute for professional HR or employment law advice. This article is a view and interpretation of BWA People Ltd of the topic(s) covered.

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