An employment contract is an agreement between an employer and an employee; which sets out their employment rights, responsibilities and duties. These are referred to as the ‘terms’ of the contract. An employment contract can be made as soon as you accept the job offer, therefore meaning you accepted the terms offered by the employer. Having a written contract could cut out later disputes and help you understand your employment rights. The contract binds you and your employer until it ends; by giving notice or until the terms are changed in agreement between you and your employer.
There is a term referred to as ‘flexibility cause’, where your employer reserves the right to change the terms and certain conditions. However your employer’s changes won’t be unreasonable, as many contracts have an implied term of mutual trust and confidence, requiring them to act honourably. There may be times when either you or your employer wants to change some terms of the contract; this can’t be done without each other’s agreement. If you wish to make a change to one of the terms, speak with your employer and explain why. If they want to change something, they should consult you, explain their reasoning why, and be open to alternative ideas you may put forth.
If you or your employer has broken one of the terms set out in the contract, this is referred to as ‘breach of contract.’ If you believe your employer has broken one or more of the terms, check your contract to be sure. If there has been a breach of contract, talk with your employer directly and try to resolve the issue, before making any further decisions. If you do decide to take legal action, you can do this through an employment tribunal or through a civil court. However it is cheaper and quicker to go through an employment tribunal, but going through a civil court may get you more compensation. One thing to keep in mind is that your employer may be prompted to take out a counter claim against you if they feel they have one. If you are the one that breached the contract, your employer should come to you directly to try and resolve the issue. If there is a suffered financial loss for your employer because of you, they may make a complaint for damages against you.