Contract terms

The legal parts of a contract are known as ‘terms’. An employer should make clear which parts of a contract are legally binding.

Contract terms could be:

  • in a written contract, or similar document like a written statement of employment
  • verbally agreed
  • in an employee handbook or on a company notice board
  • in an offer letter from the employer
  • required by law (eg an employer must pay employees at least the National Minimum Wage)
  • in collective agreements - negotiated agreements between employers and trade unions or staff associations
  • implied terms - automatically part of a contract even if they’re not written down

Implied terms

If there’s nothing clearly agreed between you and your employer about a particular issue, it may be covered by an implied term - for example:

  • employees not stealing from their employer
  • your employer providing a safe and secure working environment
  • a legal requirement like the right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid holidays
  • something necessary to do the job like a driver having a valid licence
  • something that’s been done regularly in a company over a long time like paying a Christmas bonus
  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

    1. Assess if they need to be put into a workplace pension

    You have ongoing responsibilities to check if your employees need to be put into a workplace pension scheme.

    1. Check what your ongoing responsibilities are
  5. Step 4 Agree a contract and salary

  6. Step 5 Tell HMRC about your new employee