Home > Employment Contracts > What If I Don't Have a Written Contract With My Employer?

What If I Don't Have a Written Contract With My Employer?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 25 Apr 2017 |
 
Contract Employer Employee Statement

If you are working for someone, there will always be a contract between you as the employee and your employer. That does not necessarily mean that you will have that contractual arrangement reduced to writing. The simple fact that your employer has agreed to pay you, in return for you doing work for them, creates a contractual relationship. Some employers think that they have greater flexibility if they do not issue documentary contracts when in reality the opposite can be true. It is much easier for an employer to assert the terms of an employee’s employment if they are written in black and white and do not provide any room for manoeuvre. If such a document does not exist, this provides significantly wider scope for flexibility.

Under your contractual agreement, whether written or not, both you and your employer have certain rights and obligations. Your main right is that you are entitled to be paid for what you do. Your employer’s right is to give you instructions about your job, such as when and where you work, and what you do while you are at work. There are certain rights that you are entitled to by law, and which don’t have to be included in the terms of agreement between you and your employer. These include your right to the minimum wage and your rights to paid holiday leave.

Your Rights to a Written Document

All employees are entitled by law to request a written statement from their employer which provides certain information as prescribed by law. You can request this within two months of the date when you started work. You are not entitled to this statement if your job was only meant to last less than one month. You can, however, still request this document if your job finishes before the two month period expires. For example, if your job lasts six weeks you can still request the statement in the two weeks after you leave.

This statement must include a number of details. If the statement does not include one or more of the following details, your employer is breaking the law. If your employer tries to dismiss you for requesting this information, seek legal advice without delay:

  • your name and your employer’s name
  • the location of the job, or all locations if it is in more than one place
  • the title of the job, e.g. cashier, sales manager
  • the date when you commenced work
  • how much you will be paid and how often, i.e. weekly wages or a monthly salary
  • how much holiday you are entitled to on an annual basis, and how much your holiday pay is, if you are entitled to it
  • your notice period if you want to leave the job
  • details of the disciplinary, grievance and dismissal procedures
  • how much sick pay you are entitled to
  • whether you are able to join the occupational pension scheme, if your employer has one.
This information does not have to be given to you on a single document, and may be provided in an employee handbook that all employees can access.

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Hello! I have already rendered my 3 months probationary and I haven't signed any agreement/contract for regularization. I understand that I am a regular by default. The contract I signed for my probation states that an employment bond of three (3) years shall be imposed upon signing and if I fail to render three (3) years of service, I am required to pay the company the amount equivalent to two (2) months of my current basic salary. If I resigned, do I really have to pay for that even though I haven't signed a contract for regularization?
yiskah - 25-Apr-17 @ 10:29 AM
Diogo - Your Question:
In march 2017, I start to work in a delivery company in London, I've been hired by an driver that own an franchise, I gave my papers to the company's office and was waiting for an answer, during this time I supposed be trained by the company but that never happened, instead I started to work straight away, After work more then 40 days, they paid me only £500, I left the company because they was giving more them I could hold without a proper training.Now, my contractor is refusing to pay me the rest of my salary, he is saing that I have to pay for damage I made in the company's van and after they deduce the amout they need to fix it they will pay me whatever is left.Are they right? Can they charge me for an work accident that happened because I wasn't trainned, once they accept the fact I wasn't trained and still autorize me to work?How is the law if the agreement is not follow by the contractor? Does the company has any responsability for this once I was driving a company's car, wearing a company's uniform and delivering parcels in the name of the companywith their devices?PS: No paper has been signed and the agreement has not been respected.How to proced?

Our Response:
Your only recourse here is to seek legal advice to explore your options and see where you stand. You can apply for the remainder of your salary via the small claims court. However, if your employer can prove you damaged the vehicle, then they may also have a case to answer. Without any written agreement, it's your word against your employers and it will be left up to a court to decide.
ContractsAndAgreements - 24-Apr-17 @ 12:52 PM
In march 2017, I start to work in a delivery company in London, I've been hired by an driver that own an franchise, I gave my papers to the company's office and was waiting for an answer, during this time I supposedbe trained by the company but that never happened, instead I started to work straight away, After work more then 40 days, they paid me only £500, I left the company because they was giving more them I could hold without a proper training. Now, my contractor is refusing to pay me the rest of my salary, he is saing that I have to pay for damage I made in the company's van and after they deduce the amout they need to fix it they will pay me whatever is left. Are they right? Can they charge me for an work accident that happened because I wasn't trainned, once they accept the fact I wasn't trained and still autorize me to work? How is the law if the agreement is not follow by the contractor? Does the company has any responsability for this once I was driving a company's car, wearing a company's uniform and delivering parcels in the name of the company with their devices? PS: No paper has been signed and the agreement has not been respected. How to proced?
Diogo - 23-Apr-17 @ 9:15 PM
I have been working with an organisation for five years now without a contract as a CASUAL WORKER now the project is coming to an end and i feel like the organisation should give me also some "BONUSES". Is it possible the organisation will consider my request and how will I write it, can you give me a draft? Thanks Geofrey Uganda
Geofringo - 17-Apr-17 @ 6:03 PM
I have just left a job, which was 6 months notice period, so I had one weeks notice. I have was escorted off the premises due to being a salesman, they then called me and threatened me with a solicitors letter? About contacting customers , quite threatening hey we're , however I have not signed the contract which states a little bit of bull and refer to appendix 1 ....i never seen the employee handbook or appendix 1 which talks about competing against them in more detail . Where do i stand with regards to having never signed this contract . I am also awaiting one weeks pay from them as per my notice which won't be till the 28th!!
Roundy - 15-Apr-17 @ 10:37 PM
My nephew has worked for me for 5 years he does not have a contract and in January of17 told me he wanted a change of job he continued to work up till 12 of April and has already took more holiday than he should have I have continually asked him for his resignation to which he has not given me I have now got no work at all and have told him not to come in as he's finished Have I done wrong
Pablo - 13-Apr-17 @ 9:37 PM
Hi, I have been working for my employer for nearly 2 years. I have been put on the PAYE FROM 1 year ago and have not received my contract. There is a document in place, but i have never agreed to it or signed it. Is this contract actually worth anything if i have not signed it? Or is accepting pay a confirmation?
Lucy - 10-Apr-17 @ 3:08 PM
I don't have a written contract with my employer. I'm starting my own company that competes directly with the one I currently work for, because I think I can do it better. Can I get sued on anti-competition grounds (or any other grounds) and lose?
Teddy - 4-Apr-17 @ 2:14 PM
@Stressedmum007 - there could be many reasons why they changed their minds. Doesn't sound like a great agency if they forgot to tell him he wasn't wanted - but at least they want him back. It might just be the agency putting their spin on what the employer said.
Jess - 4-Apr-17 @ 11:47 AM
My son got a temp job, all seemed ok, worked a week.Went in on Monday only to be told he was no longer required and his agency should have told him. Imagine the embarrassment. He phoned his agency was told they forgot to tell him he wasn't a good fit.I told him to ask for learning and the future why he wasn't a good fit. This afternoon he was told they had changed their mind and he can go back tomorrow!Why would they do that if he was such a poor fit?
Stressedmum007 - 3-Apr-17 @ 7:18 PM
Gary - Your Question:
I have been working for a companyear over a year and have not had a written contract. If I am to leave the company do I have to work any notice. I don't know what my notice period is

Our Response:
You would really have to negotiate this directly with your employer. If you have no written contract with your employer, then you can essentially leave when you choose. However, it is always best to come to a mutual agreement. As while there may be no written contract, there is a verbal one in place and it's always best to leave on a good note (i.e with regards to references etc) than it is a bad one.
ContractsAndAgreements - 3-Apr-17 @ 11:58 AM
I have been working for a companyear over a year and have not had a written contract. If i am to leave the company do i have to work any notice . I don't know what my notice period is
Gary - 2-Apr-17 @ 10:52 AM
jj - Your Question:
I have been working in my job for 4 years I forgot to write my finish time down 1 day and my boss is refusing to pay me. I work same hours every week. I have a till login and he knows I worked!!!

Our Response:
You would have to negotiate this with your employer directly, or if you do not get a satisfactory result, raise a grievance, please see link here.
ContractsAndAgreements - 31-Mar-17 @ 11:25 AM
I was recently employed on a trial basis for a 3 month term but given no contract, I left the job after just 2 months, can the employer withhold my wage and holiday pay as I did not give any notice?
Mandy - 31-Mar-17 @ 9:42 AM
I have been working in my job for 4 years I forgot to write my finish time down 1 day and my boss is refusing to pay me. I work same hours every week. I have a till login and he knows I worked!!!
jj - 30-Mar-17 @ 8:09 AM
I've been working for 5years at a company and still is ...without a contract .I asked several times for my employer for the contract but there's always excuses ...when I started I had a 3month contract that states I'm a general worker...after that there were no other contract stating I was permanent...in the same company we started another small company that I basically runs on my own ..was on training knw I do colour mixing for 3years and still I don't have any papers showing that I'm a qualified colourmixer...or that I do work there ..my salary for all those years r still the same below 3000 for 5 years...is there anything I can do
Berry - 27-Mar-17 @ 8:09 AM
I do not have a contract nor do I have a hobo description. I have been an employee for 2 years. I am unclear of my exact hourly rate and I have nothing in writing with regards to my job role, salary etc. Is this legal?
P123 - 24-Mar-17 @ 9:11 AM
Hi, I'm working in a law office for about 2 years as a receptionist and I've never signed any contract. They've never raised my salary which I'm very upset about, and it's pretty low just 12/h, but the office manager said it would last only for a few couple months. I asked the raise in 4-5 months but he refused stating that it's too early. He doesn't allow me to wear jeans (I wear it very rare), BUT all of the people in company wearing jeans, leggings or jeggins on daily basis, and I'm the only one who has to hear something like "Do me a favor, don't wear jeans" as soon as I enter the office. There's plenty tattooed people for example, but he doesn't tell them to hide it during summer, of he doesn't ask another co-worker to remove her nose piercing. And he is talking about jeans, it makes me really angry and upset. Not mentioning that I have much more things to do than just cover a front desk and phone. I am confused and don't know what to do.
KrisK - 13-Mar-17 @ 3:10 PM
I work in construction as a site Labourer. Been on agency for past three years but was told verbally in December that I would be taken on by my company on a permanent basis on the next job due to start on the 16th of January. Started on that date as promised but no contract was written up until now and given a start date with the company of the 20th of march. I have been paid by the agency now and currently losing take home pay of approx £120 per week. My employer is refusing to pay me any back pay so am approx £1000 out of pocket at the moment. What can I do to recoperate any money due despite not having a written agreement just verbal.
Bertiewoo747 - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:51 AM
Hi I am a health care assistant & in writing my contract is 2 weekends& 3 nights a month, but 8 years ago I spoke to manager & it was agreed verbally that I wouldn't be rota weekend or nights & I haven't been and haven't worked weekends or nights for 8 years. Now they have rosta,d me for Saturdays! Can they just change this after all that time? Kind regards Victoria
Toria - 8-Mar-17 @ 1:35 PM
Marcela- Your Question:
Hi. I have been self employed mortgage broker with no contract. I have resigned on 5th December 2016 and I am owed money for my work. My ex employer refuses to pay me. We had no contract or written agreement in place and she is keeping my money and retaining for potential liabilities. Is she allowed to do this?

Our Response:
You would have to apply to the small claims court if the amount owed is under £10,000 and you think you have a case.
ContractsAndAgreements - 7-Mar-17 @ 11:02 AM
Hi. I have been self employed mortgage broker with no contract. I have resigned on 5th December 2016 and I am owed money for my work. My ex employer refuses to pay me. We had no contract or written agreement in place and she is keeping my money and retaining for potential liabilities. Is she allowed to do this?
Marcela - 6-Mar-17 @ 2:41 PM
HI, I started working for a company in july,i had an initial 3 month probation period. i passed that and continued working. up uni till February when i was told, my services where no longer needed. i never sighed a contract and only have the offer letter stating job role, amount to be paid, expenses covered and information regarding the 3 month probation period. for several months i was not paid my full salary and paid nothing for Januaryand February. after my probation period i kept trying to gain my contract and was told director was not in ect ect and that my bonuses was still being negotiated. now ive threaten the company with court they keep on telling me i sighned nothing so my right are limited and i should leave quietly, i was also told the reason my pay was less on some months was becuase i had been demoted from head of HR to a secatry, this was a lie and i was never informed of such nor did my job role change or aspect of my work, infact my workl load increased and i began to manage several projects at once. accas, have tried helping my current appointed officer is on holiday till the 7th, legal is not free and accas are unable to tell me legaly what chance i stand in court as they are only mediators. i still have my work laptop with 100 of correspondance which contradict there new claims. legaly do you think i have a case without a sighned contract i mean surely if i had my job role changed after the probabtion period there should be documentation stating this. since i have been trying to get my
marnie - 3-Mar-17 @ 5:11 PM
I have worked for my employer for 1 and a half years now and have only ever received 1 weeks paid holiday. I asked my employer for my holiday pay owed to me she worked out that in only owed £400and something she then said she was deducting my ssp she paid me from this amount is she allowed to do this? I don't have a written contract with my employer as she said she don't do contacts so I have no rights to take her to a tribunal is this correct.
chrispy - 3-Mar-17 @ 4:04 PM
zane - Your Question:
Hi,I have been working for a company for four years now and I haven't signed any contract.and I'm still working for this company,so I don't know what the labour law say about that.

Our Response:
The fact that you have been working for the company for this amount of time means you do have a contract, you just haven't been given the terms of it. It is in both yours and your employer's best interests to have an employment contract properly drawn up as it protects you both. Therefore, you should ask your employer directly whether you could have a copy of your contract in order to find out your terms and conditions. It is also the law that your employer should present you with one. Due to the length of time you have been with your employer (longer than two years), despite the fact you do not have a written contract, you can still bring a case for unfair dismissal should the need arise.
ContractsAndAgreements - 3-Mar-17 @ 11:55 AM
Hi,I have been working for a company for four years now and I haven't signed any contract.and I'm still working for this company,so I don't know what the labour law say about that.
zane - 2-Mar-17 @ 8:33 AM
Jem - Your Question:
I worked in a company for a year I was started last Feb 2016 and I hot my contract on march 2016 the contract I signed was just for my training for 1 month,and i'am currently working in the company after I finish my training contract, so far I have never sign for any contract for 6 months or for probationary nor regularization. I deeply analyzed that this company has no reason to give a contract the fact I was already following about. How can I have my restriction about this company.

Our Response:
You would have to speak with your employer directly about this matter and to ask for an employment contract.
ContractsAndAgreements - 27-Feb-17 @ 11:57 AM
I worked in a company for a year I was started last Feb 2016 and I hot my contract onmarch 2016 the contract I signed was just for my training for 1 month,and i'am currently working in the company after I finish my training contract, so far I have never sign for any contract for 6 months or for probationary nor regularization.. I deeply analyzed that this company has no reason to give a contract the fact I was already following about.. How can I have my restriction about this company..
Jem - 26-Feb-17 @ 2:18 PM
I was working away for my company. My job got changed to a different town ,which I accepted, but the employer wanted me finish that job then process to the the original job and help out there as well then have 6 hours rest and go to the following days job. I refused as I would not get any extra pay or get sufficient rest in between jobs. So I got called into the office and got told I was contracted for 45 hours and I should for fill them hours. We are given one job per day,the office books and times the jobs, most times the job is completed early. So the employer is saying I owe her the time. If a job is completed what are we suppose to do. I was told job and finish and rest of the employees follow the example. I have asked for a contract of emoyment in the past but have not received one. I have worked for the company for 7 months. Employer said they're going to have contract drawn up the week commencing 20/02/2017. I don't think the employer is happy with me for pointing out my rest rights and refusing extra work. What shall I do.
Shaizi - 18-Feb-17 @ 1:55 PM
I am currently working for a company and have been for the past 11 months. I will be with the coompany a year on the 3rd of March 2017. I need advice on the following. I never got a contract with the company and i work permanently for them 12 hour shift a day, no pay slips, no days off, no uif and no overtime. I work as a loss controller, but have to do security work as well. We get a fixed salary of 4000 rands a month regardless if we work holidays or Sundays (no extra only 4000 rand). The bargaining council gave them a letter of compliance for 7 days last year August or September and they have still not complied. We where graded as controllers and where supose to get 40 rand and 73 cents an hour, but still nothing. We where asked to give written statement to say we work as controllers for another company. Is this leagal? I refused and now i am being intimidated and threatened. Any assistants will be appreciated.
Piksteel - 12-Feb-17 @ 10:55 PM
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