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Employment Terms and Conditions and Breach of Contract

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As of 6 April 2020, workers must be provided with terms and conditions of employment from their first day of service. If you have not received a copy of your terms and conditions you should ask your employer for a copy.

Terms and conditions are a crucial framework for both employer and employee to have a common understanding of the terms that govern the employer/employee relationship.


Terms of Employment and Breach of Contract


Understanding your Contract of Employment

You may have been offered a contract of employment and asked to sign on the dotted line. However, some contracts may contain legal jargon which makes it hard to understand the implications of signing the same.

For example, you may have post termination restrictions which sets out restrictions on where and who you can and cannot work for when your employment with that Company ends.

If you need legal advice in relation to the clauses in your contract of employment, why not contact Oakwood Solicitors to speak to one of our experienced employment lawyers.


My Employer is forcing me to sign a new contract. Can I refuse?

Your employer may be forcing you to sign a new contract which includes clauses in it which you did not previously agree to such as a lay-off clause.

Your employer may be putting pressure on you to sign the new contract by a certain time and may also be making threats about the termination of your employment if you do not agree to the proposed changes.

Whether or not your employer can fairly dismiss you for not signing the new contract will very much depend on the reasons your employer wants to implement the change, the effects of the change on you, the consultation period that the employer have gone through, and whether there are any alternatives that are more proportionate and your length of service.


My Employer has breached my contract. What can I do?

A breach of contract can be stressful and disappointing if you have accepted a job role on certain terms and conditions, only to find out that in reality those terms and conditions will not be complied with.

To name a few, common examples of breach of contract include but are not limited to:

  1. Unpaid wages including bonuses/commissions/overtime;
  2. Being asked to work different hours or shifts to those you had agreed to;
  3. Not being allowed to take your allocated break times;
  4. Change in your job title/duties.

It is important to raise your concerns informally with your employer first to see if you concerns can be resolved without the involvement of legal support.

However, if discussing your concerns informally does not resolve your issue then you should perhaps look to raise your concerns formally, by way of raising a Grievance. Find out more about raising a grievance here.


Pursuing a breach of contract claim in the Employment Tribunal

Generally an employee must start ACAS Early Conciliation within three months less a day from the incident or decision that they wish to complain to their employer about, even if the grievance or grievance appeal process is still ongoing.

If an employee does not start ACAS Early Conciliation within that time period then they may be prevented from bringing a claim against their employer before an Employment Tribunal. It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as you are able to ensure that you do not inadvertently pass the time frame in which you have to bring a claim before an Employment Tribunal.

Breach of Contract claims can often be complex and therefore, establishing the time limit you have to pursue your claim is not always straightforward.  Please contact Oakwood Solicitors as soon as possible so that we can assist you to act in the relevant time limit.

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd



Please contact Oakwood Solicitors Ltd as soon as possible for a free initial review of your potential claim. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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