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UK: Contracts of employment

Updating author: Jo Broadbent, Hogan Lovells International LLP

Original author: Darren Newman

See the legal services provided by the updating author of XpertHR International > United Kingdom, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • Employment contracts may be written or oral, and may contain both express and implied terms. (See General)
  • Only individuals defined as employees may claim many employment rights, and whether or not an individual is considered to be an employee depends on a variety of factors and the particular circumstances. (See Defining employees)
  • An individual who is not an employee may be deemed a "worker", and has limited entitlements under employment legislation. (See Defining workers)
  • Probationary periods typically last for either three or six months and are governed by the terms of the individual employment contract. (See Probationary periods)
  • There are few legal restrictions on, or distinctions between, types of employment contract. (See Types of contract/employee)
  • The employer must give employees and workers a written statement of their particulars of employment, containing specified information, by the start of employment. (See Written statement of terms of employment)
  • An employer that wishes to change an employee's terms and conditions must, in general, do so only with the agreement of the employee or, where the term in question derives from a collective agreement, the agreement of the trade union concerned. (See Variation of contract)