What must be written in an employment contract

What the written terms must include

Terms to be included in the same document

The following must all be included in the same document (the ‘principal statement’):

  • the employer’s name
  • the employee or worker’s name
  • the start date (the day the employee or worker starts work)
  • the date that ‘continuous employment’ (working for the same employer without a significant break) started for an employee
  • job title, or a brief description of the job
  • the employer’s address
  • the places or addresses where the employee or worker will work 
  • pay, including how often and when (for example, £1,000 per month, paid on the last Friday of the calendar month)
  • working hours, including which days the employee or worker must work and if and how their hours or days can change
  • holiday and holiday pay, including an explanation of how its calculated if the employee or worker leaves
  • the amount of sick leave and pay (if this information is not included in the document, the employer must state where to find it)
  • any other paid leave (if this information is not included in the document, the employer must state where to find it)
  • any other benefits, including non-contractual benefits such as childcare vouchers or company car schemes 
  • the notice period either side must give when employment ends
  • how long the job is expected to last (if it’s temporary or fixed term)
  • any probation period, including its conditions and how long it is
  • if the employee will work abroad, and any terms that apply
  • training that must be completed by the employee or worker, including training the employer does not pay for

Terms that can be provided later

Employers can provide some terms in instalments. 

Instalments do not have to be given at the same time, but must be provided no later than 2 months after the beginning of the employment. 

The terms that can be given in instalments are:

  • pension arrangements (if this information is not included in the document, the employer must state where the employee can find it)
  • any terms and conditions that apply to other employees too (known as ‘collective agreements’)
  • details of any training provided by the employer that is not compulsory (if this information is not included in the document, the employer must state where to find it)
  • disciplinary rules and disciplinary and grievance procedures

If the written terms refer to other documents or steps

It’s important for an employer to state:

  • what they are
  • where to find them