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Terms & Conditions of Employment

Under employment legislation - within 13 weeks of the start of employment, an employer must provide the employee with a written statement of the terms and conditions of employment.  This statement must contain the following details:

  • Name of employer and employee
  • The date you began work
  • Job title
  • Hours to be worked - including mandatory overtime
  • Terms of holiday entitlement and holiday pay
  • Details of notice of termination
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • Sickness and injury provisions
  • Pension arrangements (if any)
  • If fixed term - must also give an expiry date

This statement is not your contract of employment.  The statement only illustrates your terms and conditions. 

A contract of employment arises when one party makes an offer and the other party signifies its acceptance.  The contract of employment should be in writing and is signed by the employee.

A contract of employment can be verbally agreed - however if a dispute arises it would be up to a court to judge who is right.  However if the written statement of terms and conditions is clear there should be no problem.

Hours of Work

There are no statutory regulations about hours of work for most jobs. 

Factory work - Strict rules govern hours worked by employees under 18 - detail are outlined in the Factories Act 1961.

Drivers - Drivers of goods vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes must observe strict regulations of their hours of driving. 

Overtime - An employer cannot force an employee to work overtime unless it has been specified in their contract or their terms & conditions.

Unions

An employee has the right to join a union or become a trade union representative.

Under the Employment Act 1980 an employee has the right not to join a union.  Employees must not be dismissed or made redundant for not belonging to a union.

Union dues cannot be deducted from your pay without your consent.

A closed shop is an agreement which means that employees are obliged to become members of a union and therefore subject to its rules.  Any agreements to be binding must be approved by 85% of those voting in a secret ballot.  Employees can refuse to be part of a closed shop on the grounds of principles or deeply held personal conviction.

Equal Rights

The key pieces of legislation regarding Equal Rights are:

The Equal Pay Act 1970

Under this act men and women, working full or part-time are entitled to equal treatment in their terms and conditions of employment if they are doing the same job.

The Sex Discrimination Acts 1975 and 1986

It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of sex.  Also, an employer must not discriminate against a woman because she is married.

The Race Relations Act 1976

An employer must not discriminate on racial grounds with regards to job applicants or current employees.  An employee must not be turned down for promotion on the basis of their race.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

In 1974 this act was passed in order to help past offenders obtain a job and establish themselves in normal society.

A person with a minor conviction may treat it as if it never happened, if after a period of rehabilitation, no further serious offence has been committed - the conviction is then said to be spent.  The period of rehabilitation before a conviction can become spent varies depending on the length of sentence.  Sentences over two and a half years cannot become spent convictions.

An employer may ask an applicant if they have any convictions but must not ask if they have any spent convictions.  An applicant is not obliged to admit to any spent convictions.

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against someone with a spent conviction.  Nor can an employee be dismissed for a spent conviction should this information come to light.

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