Written statement & contract of employment

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Written statement and employment contract

An employer has a legal duty to provide a written statement of employment within two months of
a new employee starting in the organisation.
A written statement of employment should lay out the employee’s:
  • employment conditions
  • rights
  • responsibilities
  • duties
The written statement and contract of employment differ in the following ways:
A contract of employment is, by definition, a legally binding agreement between an employer and
an employee, whereas a written statement of employment simply records the employer’s views of
the terms that have been agreed. This statement does not require a signature.
There is no obligation to provide a written contract of employment. As soon as someone accepts a
job offer they technically have a contract for work.
However, putting a contract in writing saves a lot of potential misunderstanding over what
is or what is not in a contract.  
A contract of employment is made up of:
  • Your job offer
  • The Written Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment
  • The company procedures, policies and documents referred to in the statement (e.g disciplinary &
    grievance procedure)
  • Some rules which are too obvious to be written into the statement (e.g an employee will not steal
    from their employer)
The legal parts of a contract are known as ‘terms’. An employer should make clear which parts of
a contract are legally binding.
ACAS has a good step by step guide to understanding and creating an employee’s contract



Disclaimer: this article is only intended as an overview of the legislation. You must always check directly with HMRC, ACAS
or your own legal consultant for further information.