A contract of employment is a legally binding agreement between an employer and employee.

This factsheet focuses on the ‘contract of service’, which refers to an employee and employer relationship, rather than ‘contracts for services’ which apply in the case of independent contractors, for example, freelance workers. A contract of employment only arises in an employee relationship, so this factsheet focuses on employers’ obligations to employees, although some aspects apply to workers too. The factsheet provides introductory guidance on employment contracts including express and implied terms and variation, and examines the items included in the written statement of particulars.

This factsheet was last updated by Lisa Ayling and Rachel Suff.

Lisa Ayling: solicitor and employment law specialist

Lisa is a lawyer with many years’ experience of contentious and nonā€contentious employment law. As well as writing and editing employment law content for the CIPD, Lisa lectures extensively on employment law, including years as a senior lecturer and leader of the employment team at BPP University and on the LLM programme at Kingston University. 

Rachel Suff: Senior Employee Relations Adviser, CIPD

Rachel informs CIPD policy thinking on health and wellbeing as well as employment relations. She has over 25 years’ experience in the employment and HR arena.

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