UK Employment Contracts

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UK Employment Contracts

A successful business largely depends on its employees. By creating working contracts that include the right terms and benefits there will be no misconception and the perfect work-life balance can be created. At Bradford Jacobs, this is our aim, and we support companies in over a hundred countries with creating compliant and balanced labor contracts. Our team in the UK keeps track of the British laws and regulations on a daily basis to be duly aware of updates that can be implemented in working contracts. By using our PEO and EOR service we can provide compliant labor contracts for employees in the UK including local benefits.

To support your plans, we made this guide including the basics of employment contracts in Britain. After reading this guide you will know everything about social security, notice periods, and the average working hours.

How Do You Hire UK Employees?

If a foreign company is looking to hire resident employees as part of their expansion into the UK, they must comply with the recruitment regulations concerning tax, social security contributions, employment law, as well as collaborate with or adhere to any collective bargaining, trade unions, or work council agreements. In the UK, employment agreements are determined in written employment contracts, although this is not mandatory by law. There are two types of employment contracts that are practiced are the indefinite contract and the fixed-term contract.

National legislation and collective agreements are the main sources of employment law in the UK, which govern employment conditions, benefits, and health and safety regulations. The conditions performed vary according to the industry and sector. To be fully aware of what you can and cannot apply to your employment practices in the UK, it is important for the employer to know the existing labor laws and employee entitlements, as well as collaborate with the appropriate local employment organizations.

Employment Contracts in UK

In the UK, an employment contract is not required to be concluded in writing, but the law does oblige the employer to provide the employee with a written statement that includes specific information regarding the terms of their employment:

  • Personal/contact information about both parties
  • Job title of the employee
  • The date of the commencement of the employment relationship
  • Salary and payment intervals
  • The place of work and the registered address of the business
  • The hours of work and information about working patterns
  • Holiday, sick pay, and other paid leave entitlements
  • Notice period and probationary period provisions
  • Disciplinary and grievance policies
  • Training entitlements

Whether the terms of employment are governed by a collective agreement

However, if employment contracts are used, there are two types of contracts that are applied in the UK:

  • Indefinite employment contract – the standard type of employment contract in the UK, which is used for indefinite employment.
  • Fixed-term employment contract – Fixed-term contracts are valid for a specific length of time and are used in cases where a specific task must be completed or when a specific event takes place.
  • Any changes to the employment contract must be made with the consent of both the employee and employer. If the employer wishes to amend the employment terms, they must discuss and agree to the changes with the employee before doing so.

Collective Agreements:

Collective bargaining and agreements in the UK are practiced, but their influence in employment varies according to the sector. Collective bargaining in the UK takes place both at industry-level and company-level. Bargaining is more prevalent in the public sector, rather than the private sector. Over a quarter of employees in the private sector and about 90% of employees in the public sector in the UK are covered by collective agreements.

Collective agreements in the private sector mostly occur at the company level or individual workplace level, covering more than three quarters of employees in the sector. However, there are still some industry-level bargaining that occurs in some private industries, particularly in construction or some parts of the arts and entertainment industries. Collective agreements are not valid for a specific period, but they most commonly are valid for a year. Industries where most employees are covered by company-level and workplace-level agreements include utilities, gas, electricity, water, telecommunications, finance, and manufacturing.