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Familiarise Your Contract, Terms and Conditions

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 13 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Contract Employment Job Work Terms And

When you start your first job all the paperwork and forms can seem like a lot to take in. However, it is important that you understand what you are committing to and are clear about the terms and conditions of your contract. A contract of employment is a binding agreement between you and your employer that lays out details of pay, working hours, holidays and other conditions of the job.

Right To A Contract

As an employee you have the right to be given a contract of employment by your employer setting out the terms and conditions of your job. This contract may initially be verbal but you are entitled to a written statement of your terms and conditions within two months of starting your job. Both you and your employer are bound by these terms until the contract formally comes to an end or you both decide that changes are going to be made.

Terms And Conditions

It is important that you insist on being given a written statement of your contract as it will clarify the key terms and conditions of your job. Your contract will cover important aspects of your job such as pay, the hours that you are expected to work, holiday entitlement and your notice period. It should also tell you about the process of making a complaint if you have a problem. Setting these terms out helps both you and your employer to be clear about your roles and responsibilities.

Changes To A Contract

Sometimes, as your job evolves or unforeseen circumstances arise, your employer may want to change the conditions of your contract. Or, you may find that you are the one that wants to re-negotiate your work hours or pay. Either way, you need to talk to your employer about these changes and come to an agreement that you are both happy with before officially changing the contract. Your employer cannot just make changes to a binding contract against your will.

Knowing Your Rights

As an employee you have a binding contract with your employer from the moment that you start working for them. They also are bound to give you a written statement of your rights and if they refuse, or try to dismiss you for asking, then you can take action against them. The same is true of they try to change your contract unlawfully. Firstly always try to sort out your dispute with your employer directly or through an employee representative before deciding to take matters further.

It is understandable that you want your first job to go smoothly without any hassle but you must not give up your rights to do this. A contract between you and your employer is important so that you are both clear about your terms and conditions. You are entitled to a written statement of this contract within two months of starting at work. Make sure that you read and understand it and are clear about what is expected of you and what your rights are.

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