Types of contractual term in employment
Types of contractual term in employment

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Types of contractual term in employment
  • Express terms
  • Implied terms
  • Imposed terms
  • Incorporated terms
  • Terms and conditions
  • Entire contract clauses
  • Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977
  • Dealing as a consumer
  • Standard terms of business

Although employers and employees have a number of rights given to them by statute, the basic relationship between them is still governed by the contents of the contract of employment. It is important to know what the terms of that contract are.

The law of contract is important to many areas of employment. It is used to decide the true contract between parties. This is often not as simple as it sounds. A contract can be made up of all or any of:

  1. express terms

  2. implied terms

  3. imposed terms

  4. incorporated terms

For information on changing terms and conditions of employment, see Practice Note: Changing terms and conditions of employment.

See also Practice Notes:

  1. Contract interpretation—express terms in contracts

  2. Contract interpretation—terms implied by fact

  3. Contract interpretation—terms implied by law

  4. Contract interpretation—terms implied by custom and usage

Express terms

These can be written or spoken and generally reflect what the parties wanted to happen. An oral contract is as binding as a written contract. It can be effective even if not signed (although there may be disagreement about precisely what was agreed). Express terms can be ambiguous. If a term has more than one meaning, it will be given the meaning which least favours the party who drafted it (the contra proferentem rule).

Implied terms

Terms can be implied into a contract where the express terms are incomplete, or where the parties have

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