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: 22 Jun 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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[Add a Comment]
Good Day. I started working for a construction company as an admin assistant3 weeks back, but i have not signed any document regarding my employment and i am not sure if i am going to be paid or not. Now i want to apply forjob in another City: should i say i am currently employed, a freelance or i am not employed at all?
Ongie - 22-Jun-17 @ 2:21 PM
Hi there, I recently resigned from my job with no notice period as I never received a contract. I walked out during the middle of the day. I had only been there for a few weeks and couldn't stand another day working for the place due to an array of reasons. I sent an official resignation to my employer via email and have yet to hear back from them in regards to my question about getting paid for the hours I worked. What can I do if I don't hear back and they don't pay me for the hours I've worked? Especially seeing as there was no written or verbal contract ever introduced. I was not informed of a notice perid at any point either. Am I still entitled to my wage?
Holly - 22-Jun-17 @ 11:59 AM
My wife has been working for an estate agents for nearly 3 years now but does not have a contract of employment. She's just been dismissed while on holidays, is there a caseries for unfair dismissal?
Upset - 21-Jun-17 @ 4:33 PM
John - Your Question:
Hi I am working for 3 days in a company as stock clerk and then I decided to pursue a training. I am not yet signed a contract for the company. Can I file a Resignation letter or What?

Our Response:
I recommend speaking directly to your line manager to say you wish to leave. You are likely to be on a probationary period with your employer and likewise your employer with you, so you would have to come to a mutual agreement regarding how much notice you would have to give (usually one week for the first six months).
ContractsAndAgreements - 19-Jun-17 @ 11:44 AM
Hi I am working for 3 days in a company as stock clerk and then I decided to pursue a training. I am not yet signed a contract for the company. Can I file a Resignation letter or What?
John - 16-Jun-17 @ 5:25 PM
muriel - Your Question:
Working for this company without employment contract.Started in 2015 on a contract basis and to follow permanent and still nothing to date.I have spoken to numerous HR and management with no avail.Please advise

Our Response:
If you’re a worker and you’ve tried solving a problem or concern informally by talking to your manager but you’re not satisfied, you can make a formal grievance complaint in writing, please see link here . If your temporary contract expired and you have continued to work for the company for some time without your temporary contract being extended, as specified in the article, you will be classed as employed. You may also wish to seek further advice from ACAS about how best to approach the matter and what your employment rights are from your particular perspective.
ContractsAndAgreements - 16-Jun-17 @ 10:30 AM
Tich - Your Question:
I left my company on the 12th June this year and from the 18th to the 12th of June I worked 155 hours they said they are taking 60 hours of my wages because they said I get paid from the 1st of the month to the 30th of the month because it's a salary I told them I have never had a contract of employment and never signed anything are. They allowed to do this kind regards Derek McCallister

Our Response:
You will be eligible to be paid for the hours you have worked. If you aren't paid in full this month because of the salary cut-off point, then you are likely to be paid the following month for the extra hours you have worked.
ContractsAndAgreements - 15-Jun-17 @ 3:46 PM
Working for this company without employment contract.Started in 2015 on a contract basis and to follow permanent and still nothing to date.I have spoken to numerous HR and management with no avail.Please advise
muriel - 15-Jun-17 @ 2:03 PM
I left my company on the 12th June this year and from the 18th to the 12th of June I worked 155 hours they said they are taking 60 hours of my wages because they said I get paid from the 1st of the month to the 30th of the month because it's a salary I told them I have never had a contract of employment and never signed anything are. They allowed to do this kind regards
Tich - 15-Jun-17 @ 11:02 AM
TT - Your Question:
I have been working with my employer since August 2014. My usual hours have been 28hours a week but I do not have a contract for this. My employer recently reduced my hours to 24hours a week. Can he do that? I have said on many occasions that I am currently through the process of getting a civil service job. He said the reduced hours is so he can train someone else up for when I leave. But I haven't given my notice yet? What can I do? Thanks

Our Response:
Much depends upon what type of contract you were employed on. If it was a permanent fixed contract (which it sounds as though it was) then your employer cannot reduce your hours unless you agree. If you were employed on a zero hours contract and your hours are unstructured, your employer can reduce your hours. You do have a contract of employment, by the mere fact you are employed. I suggest you give ACAS a call to talk this through and explore your options.
ContractsAndAgreements - 12-Jun-17 @ 4:14 PM
Damien - Your Question:
Hi,My partner has been working at a pub for 3 months when she was taken on she was part time going on to more hours. She requested a contract several times and now is being told by her employer that he doesn't need to give her one and it's zero hour even though that was never mentioned before can he do that?

Our Response:
As specified in the article, all employees are entitled by law to request a written statement from their employer which provides certain information as prescribed by law. Your partner can request this within two months of the date when she started work.
ContractsAndAgreements - 12-Jun-17 @ 3:04 PM
Naye - Your Question:
I'v been employed for 7 months now & I only sighned a contract for three months which has lapsed & now my eployer dose not want to give me a new contract which is binding the agreement of employment between the two of us. Yet I am still working and im bieng paid but I feel there should be a contract between the two of us inorder for me to be able to protect my rights & my job as an employee. What can I do to make my employer give me a contract in black & white?

Our Response:
Most employees are legally entitled to a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two calendar months of starting work, you can see more via the ACAS link here.
ContractsAndAgreements - 12-Jun-17 @ 12:55 PM
I'v been employed for 7 months now & i only sighned a contract for three months which has lapsed & now my eployer dose not want to give me a new contract which is binding the agreement of employment between the two of us. Yet i am still working and im bieng paid but i feel there should be a contract between the two of us inorder for me to be able to protect my rights & my job as an employee. What can i do to make my employer give me a contract in black & white?
Naye - 10-Jun-17 @ 10:28 PM
Hi, My partner has been working at a pub for 3 months when she was taken on she was part time going on to more hours. She requested a contract several times and now is being told by her employer that he doesn't need to give her one and it's zero hour even though that was never mentioned before can he do that?
Damien - 10-Jun-17 @ 5:41 PM
Hi I've been working for a company for the past 3 years my original contract was as a driver but in March 2016 I was offered a new position which I accepted as it was a step up the ladder. I had ask numerous times for my job description and contract to be changed to what was agreed. The gereral manager retired in Dec 2016 still with no contract. I approached the new gerneral manager in Jan 2017 and explained what had happens he asurred me he would get on top of it as soon as he got his head around the company. I had my year end review with my manager who was happy with my progress in the new role and that he was gonna help me progress further. Feb March April and May I asked for a written contract. I eventually had enough and emailed the head of HR to help me they set up a meeting which I attended to be told the job I have been doing for the last 16 months is no longer required and that I was only helping out with extra duties as a driver. And they was going to pat me a bonus of £2300 to say thanks But he wanted me to return to what I was soley contract to do Which was a driver. This isntwhat I had agreed 16 months ago. Can they do this??
Daveo - 9-Jun-17 @ 7:56 PM
I have been working with my employer since August 2014. My usual hours have been 28hours a week but I do not have a contract for this. My employer recently reduced my hours to 24hours a week. Can he do that? I have said on many occasions that I am currently through the process of getting a civil service job. He said the reduced hours is so he can train someone else up for when I leave. But I haven't given my notice yet? What can I do? Thanks
TT - 9-Jun-17 @ 1:14 PM
Hi guys. I am working the last 4 years for a company with no contract. My employer told me that after 2 months we ll be leaving the property the shop is opperating and he doesn't know if he is going to transfer the shop to a new place or if it will permantely shut off. So i found an opportunity for a new job and i told him that i will stop working for him after 3 days cause i don t want to loose that possition as long as he does not tell me for sure what he is planing to do. Now he asks me to pay my last wage back to him cause i didn t give him an one month notice. Does he have the right to do that? What can i do and how should i react with this? Thanks a lot!
Logios - 7-Jun-17 @ 8:04 PM
hallo there. i have been working for xerox company for 2 years but my first contract was 1 years and they have never given me another contract but still i had to work for another year without a contract and never had a leave, Now my boss called and told me this is my last monthend of the month there is some one else who is more skilled than me will take over. so my question is - is this ok for my employer to just wake up and tell me its my last month, do i have rights of benefits, or what do i have to do cos from next month i dont have a job will i did my best to this company and they have never had any problem with my job
chrisdion34 - 1-Jun-17 @ 3:53 PM
Kristey - Your Question:
I have been working at a new company for 6 months, nobody there has received contracts. I told them verbally that I have a applied for a new job which will start in 3 months time, which they seemed OK with. The next day I got a letter of termination and they said that I only have one month left of employment with them. I have not handed in my notice in anyway, just didn't want to let them down, thinking they would be understanding, I told them now.Can they do this to me, do I have any rights. As I am now going to be unemployed for 2 months.

Our Response:
I can only suggest you speak with your employer directly about this. It sounds as though there has been a misunderstanding. We cannot specify whether your company is acting out of employment guidelines. However, employees can only claim unfair dismissal if they’ve worked for a qualifying period, please see link here to see if it further answers your question.
ContractsAndAgreements - 31-May-17 @ 10:21 AM
I have been working at a new company for 6 months, nobody there has received contracts. I told them verbally that I have a applied for a new job which will start in 3 months time, which they seemed OK with. The next day I got a letter of termination and they said that I only have one month left of employment with them. I have not handed in my notice in anyway, just didn't want to let them down, thinking they would be understanding, I told them now. Can they do this to me, do I have any rights. As I am now going to be unemployed for 2 months.
Kristey - 30-May-17 @ 10:40 AM
12345 - Your Question:
I have been working at a family run grocery store for nearly 4 years now. They are really informal so I wasnt given a contract or anything when I started. I have got to a point in my life where I no longer want to work weekends as he never gievs my time off. When he wants a favour im almost forced to give in and when I would like a day off its always a no. Im sick and tired. but his family have almost treated me like a daughter and I want to resign I dont know how? because neither do I have a notice period that im aware of, or the procedure or resigning because I dont have a contract.Can I just post my resignation? and just no longer turn up to work

Our Response:
If there is no contract in place, you are free to resign how you wish. However, please be aware that you 'may' not be eligible for Jobseekers Allowance if you resign. Therefore, you may wish to research your options regarding how you will manage financially if and when you leave.
ContractsAndAgreements - 24-May-17 @ 2:10 PM
I have been working at a family run grocery store for nearly 4 years now. They are really informal so i wasnt given a contract or anything when i started. I have got to a point in my life where i no longer want to work weekends as he never gievs my time off. When he wants a favour im almost forced to give in and when i would like a day off its always a no. Im sick and tired... but his family have almost treated me like a daughter and i want to resign i dont know how? because neither do i have a notice period that im aware of, or the procedure or resigning because i dont have a contract. Can i just post my resignation? and just no longer turn up to work
12345 - 24-May-17 @ 11:55 AM
Nik Nak - Your Question:
I recently worked 3 days for a company and then decided for various reasons that the role was not for me. I have not received any payment and the employer is refusing to respond to any of my emails. No contract was signed but I do have all our discussions about required hours, rate of pay per hr etc on email. Can I claim for unpaid wages through a small claims court? Thanks

Our Response:
You can. If your employer agreed to pay you for this time, you should be paid for the hours you worked.
ContractsAndAgreements - 22-May-17 @ 11:31 AM
I recently worked 3 days for a company and then decided for various reasons that the role was not for me. I have not received any payment and the employer is refusing to respond to any of my emails. No contract was signed but i do have all our discussions about required hours, rate of pay per hr etc on email. Can i claim for unpaid wages through a small claims court? Thanks
Nik Nak - 21-May-17 @ 1:58 PM
I've been at my work place nearly a year now as a fabricator I'm quite shy and suffer with my nerves I'm only 18, I have no contract and my manager pulled me over today to say I have a month to get myself together ie.. I dont speak much I keep to myself I dont understand why..
Joe - 19-May-17 @ 3:21 PM
Sueey - Your Question:
I have never received or even seen my employee handbook with this in mind can my employer enforce it?

Our Response:
If you don't have a copy of your contract, or handbook then you would have to speak with your employer directly to request one. I don't understand where you say; 'can my employer enforce it?'
ContractsAndAgreements - 19-May-17 @ 12:52 PM
I have never received or even seen my employee handbook with this in mind can my employer enforce it?
Sueey - 18-May-17 @ 8:46 PM
Nika - Your Question:
Hi I just want to know what I am to do I've been working for my employer for 3 weeks didn't sign a contract and was dismissed with any sort of notice or reason what should I do or can you help me

Our Response:
Unfortunately, if you are on a probationary period there is little you can do. You can be dismissed at short notice for the first six months or your employment (usually a week as per the terms of the contract). If you have not signed a contract outlining the terms of your employment you have no rights to complain.
ContractsAndAgreements - 16-May-17 @ 1:48 PM
Hi i just want to know what I am to do I've been working for my employer for 3 weeks didn't sign a contract and was dismissed with any sort of notice or reason what should I do or can you help me
Nika - 16-May-17 @ 7:11 AM
@yiskah - by signing the contract you are agreeing to the terms. However, you may wish to give ACAS a call to see whether those terms are enforceable.
Rosedhy - 11-May-17 @ 2:37 PM
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