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Employment Contracts

The cornerstone of employment law is the contract entered into by an employee with his or her employer. The contract will typically determine such issues as the rate of pay, holiday entitlements, working hours and so on. Where it falls short of minimum standards set out in legislation, it is effectively trumped by that legislation. Otherwise, the contract remains paramount and it will be the starting point for any examination of the scope of an employee’s respective legal rights and duties.

Most employees in large companies have written employment contracts. However, those written documents are not the sole source of the applicable contractual terms and conditions. Also of contractual effect are terms verbally agreed by the employer and the employee as well as terms that are implied into the contract by their conduct, custom and practice or by the law.

Even where there is no written document, a contract will still be regarded as regulating the relationship between an employer and an employee. The terms and conditions contained in that contract are a combination of terms that have been verbally agreed, terms that are implied by the conduct of the parties and terms implied from legislation.

Employers should, however, remember that they are legally obliged to at least provide written statements of key terms and conditions of employment to their employees and to confirm any changes to those terms and conditions in writing.

For further advice and assistance in relation to employment contracts, policies or procedures, contact Fiona Grant on 087 6666775 and at fgrant@advokat.ie
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