Overview

All employees have an employment contract with their employer. A contract is an agreement that sets out an employee’s:

  • employment conditions
  • rights
  • responsibilities
  • duties

These are called the ‘terms’ of the contract.

Employees and employers must stick to a contract until it ends (eg by an employer or employee giving notice or an employee being dismissed) or until the terms are changed (usually by agreement between the employee and employer).

If a person has an agreement to do some work for someone (like paint their house), this isn’t an employment contract but a ‘contract to provide services’.

Accepting a contract

As soon as someone accepts a job offer they have a contract with their employer. An employment contract doesn’t have to be written down.

  1. Step 1 Check your business is ready to employ staff

  2. Step 2 Recruit someone

    You need to advertise the role and interview candidates. You can use a recruitment agency to do this or do it yourself.

    1. Find out about recruiting someone yourself on Acas
    2. Find out about using a recruitment agency

    As an employer you must make sure you recruit employees fairly.

    1. Avoid discrimination during recruitment
    2. Make your application process accessible for employees with disabilities or health conditions
  3. and Find out if they need a DBS check

    You may need to check someone's criminal record, for example, if they'll be working in healthcare or with children.

    1. Find out if you need a DBS check
    2. How to do a DBS check
  4. Step 3 Check if they need to be put into a workplace pension

    Check if you need to put your employee into a workplace pension scheme:

  5. Step 4 Agree a contract and salary

  6. Step 5 Tell HMRC about your new employee