A contract of employment does not need to be in writing. It can be verbal or written. An employee is entitled at the very least to a "written statement of particulars" of the terms of employment after being employed for 2 months. Tribunals can compensate you by up to four weeks' pay if this is not done.
Employment contracts and benefit packages can be complex. Negotiations with your employer can be a delicate and difficult process. Whether you are considering a new job offer or your employer wants to change your existing terms of employment, wherever you are, we can advise you of your rights to give you the best chance of getting the contract you want.
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In some cases a contract will contain a clause allowing your employer to make minor changes but it is difficult for an employer to change the major terms of employment without your verbal or written consent. If a change is made without your agreement and is not to your benefit then a Tribunal is more likely to decide your employer has acted unfairly. You can enforce your employment rights with our help. If a change is made without your agreement such as reducing your pay then a Tribunal is more likely to decide your employer has acted unfairly. You can enforce your employment rights with our help. You may be able to resign and claim Constructive Dismissal.
You can work under protest if there has been an unauthorised change to your contract by making it clear to your employer that you do not agree with the alteration. However, the longer you tolerate the change without taking action, the greater the chance you will be seen as having accepted it - this may result in you losing the right to object to it later or receive compensation in a Court or Tribunal for breach of contract or constructive unfair dismissal. Good cases can be lost before they even start through hesitation or delay.
You should usually try and resolve the issue by speaking to your employer informally or by raising a grievance first but there will be times when you have no alternative but to think about resigning - particularly when you have been working under protest. Getting legal advice quickly from an employment law solicitor is essential. We can establish what your rights are and help you to reverse the change or reach a compromise with your employer. We can assess your case and help negotiate an exit before you resign - or issue a claim in a County Court or Tribunal on your behalf.
If you are still working for your employer, you can claim in a County Court. If you have left work, you can bring a claim in an Employment Tribunal too. Only Employment Tribunals can hear claims for constructive dismissal.
It does not matter how long you have worked somewhere to be able to bring a breach of contract claim.
In most cases you will have just three months from the date your employment ended to notify ACAS of a potential claim for breach of contract or constructive dismissal if you wish to bring proceedings in an Employment Tribunal. Find out how we can help you with our fixed fee ACAS Early Conciliation service here. You have up to six years to bring a claim in a County Court.
County Courts and Employment Tribunals have different limitation dates, fee structures and limits to the value of damages they can award.
There are a number of different funding types in place which can be used to pay for the work we provide on employment contracts.
Our experienced legal teams can help you to settle your dispute or take steps to issue a claim before it is too late.