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Contracts & Written Statements of Employment

Stillwells Solicitors LLP offered the Wessex LMCs and its constituents some generic employment law advice to be made available on this website.

Contracts & Written Statements

Ideally employers should agree a contract of employment with every employee.  It is good practice to do so as this provides the basis on which the relationship between the two parties is governed.  It can set out the employer’s expectations and rules in advance to guide the employee through their time of employment in a way that can avoid or minimise disciplinary and/or grievance situations arising and, as a result of this, help to safeguard the employer against successful claims to the Employment Tribunal. 

It can also prevent the employer from paying out amounts that the employee should not be entitled to.  For example if an employee leaves part way through the year and has already taken holiday, unless there is written provision for the employer to recoup the payment from the employee, it is not possible to withhold overpaid holiday pay.  Similarly an employer may wish to protect its business by setting out appropriate restrictive covenants, to prevent an employee taking a large proportion of the business with them when they move to a new employer.


However it is often the case that the pressures of business or administrative errors result in a contract not being issued.   Even if the employer is not able to follow good practice by issuing a full contract it is legally obliged to issue a written statement of the terms of employment within eight weeks of employment commencing.


There are certain items which must be supplied in the written statement:

The following should also be supplied within two months of commencement, either in the written statement or in an accompanying document:

Additional items are required if the employee is to work outside the UK for more than one month:

These are bare minimum requirements primarily to protect the employee.

Employers should also ensure that all contracts of employment include their disciplinary rules and procedure.  These can be included specifically in the contract of employment or by reference to an external document.  Ensure all employees are made aware of the procedure.

What happens if we do not provide a written statement of employment particulars?

If the employee requests the written statement and it is not provided, this may lead to an application to an employment tribunal who may:

ACAS codes of practice

The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (‘ACAS’) provides guidance on employment issues.  It publishes Codes of Practice which, although not legally binding, if not followed may be used by an aggrieved employee before an Employment Tribunal to demonstrate that an employer has not, for example, carried out a grievance process fairly.

Helpful Resources

Of necessity this guidance can only be of a general nature and your own circumstances will almost certainly affect the right approach. Do not use this guidance without proper legal advice.

Please refer to us as to what you need to do because of your specific situation.

Stillwells Solicitors

Solicitors Regulated By The Law Society


Bite Size on Employment Law & Contracts

John Kraft & Liz Willett from Kraft HR Consulting Ltd will lead this HR Bite Size for Practice Management on Employment Law & Contracts. John & Liz will be joined by Jane Dawes, one of our PM Supporters who will assist the session by making it practical and relevant to life on the ground in a GP Surgery.

During the session we will be looking at:

Following the session, we hope you will be more confident dealing with these issues in the Practice. 

Purchase the recording here

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Updated on Thursday, 19 January 2023 3189 views