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

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 14 Aug 2018 |
 
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]
Louis - Your Question:
Hey there, my girlfriend was working for a big hotel chain for almost two weeks, today she was called in on her day off and was fired for no apparent reason other than “it wasn’t working out” and she didn’t sign any contracts or agreements notifying her that she could be terminated without cause. She didn’t really sign any paperwork but she did work there for the two weeks she was “employed”. Can I seek legal action against the hotel for wrongful termination?

Our Response:
Your girlfriend would still be deemed to be in her probationary period, please see the link here , which will answer your question.
ContractsAndAgreements - 17-Aug-18 @ 3:23 PM
Lil hem - Your Question:
I been working for 6 years doing 5 days a week with no contract. I have also been bullied by my boss too. He has threatened to sack me if I don't do what he says too or leave before my standard hours. Any help?

Our Response:
Even if you do not have a written contract of employment, you do by the very nature of working for your employer. Much depends upon whether you work permanent set hours or are self-employed. If you work set hours and have done for six years and your employer pays tax and national insurance for you via HMRC then you have a permanent contract, in which case if your employer attempts to dismiss you, then you may be able to claim unfair dismissal. Please see the link here. You may also wish to give Acas a call in order to explore your rights and options.
ContractsAndAgreements - 14-Aug-18 @ 2:20 PM
I have been working for a company over a year and been sent for a polygraph recently came back failed they say the trust is broken can they put me in a lower position and drop my salary with no commission. Please advise
Slims - 14-Aug-18 @ 10:14 AM
I been working for 6 years doing 5 days a week with no contract. I have also been bullied by my boss too. He has threatened to sack me if I don't do what he says too or leave before my standard hours. Any help?
Lil hem - 13-Aug-18 @ 10:21 PM
Claz - Your Question:
I've worked for my employer for 16 months with no site of a contract - I now wish to leave and they know this so are trying to make me sign a contract. Can I resign and not agree to the terms and provide only 1 weeks notice? Or am I bound to their contract even though they've never made an attempt to provide a contract until now.

Our Response:
If there has been no contract in place, you are not obliged to give a month's notice, you can negotiate with your employer directly.
ContractsAndAgreements - 13-Aug-18 @ 3:28 PM
B - Your Question:
I have just started working for a new company and it has been less than a month.Unfortunately the CEO has been inappropriate in the work placement in the way that I am being spoken to and has said that they do not think they will keep me.Being out of work is unfortunately not an option for me and I was wondering if I would still be paid for my hours worked if either I, or the employer chose to end the job.I do not have a contract in place and was hoping that someone could offer some advice?Thank you in advance.

Our Response:
You would be paid for the hours you have worked to the termination of your employment. If you have recently started your employment, you would likely to be considered as on your probationary period, please see the link here . You are entitled to request a written statement of employment, please see the link here.
ContractsAndAgreements - 13-Aug-18 @ 3:23 PM
Nor 2 - Your Question:
I have worked for a catering company for over 10 years working 16/18 hours a week I have never had holiday pay am I entitled to it I did leave for 8 months then went back still nothing can I backdate it I feel a fool and unappreciated

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you are self-employed or employed by the company. You may wish to give your contract a read and ring Acas if you are still unsure.
ContractsAndAgreements - 13-Aug-18 @ 11:23 AM
Harleydavidson1212 - Your Question:
My girl friend has work for a cafe in her local town for 3+ years without a written contract. She is pregnant and is wondering if her employer is legally obliged to pay her maternity leave? She has payslips to prove that she has worked there for a number of years

Our Response:
Yes, your girlfriend's employer will be obliged to pay your girlfriend maternity leave. Please see the link here for more information.
ContractsAndAgreements - 13-Aug-18 @ 10:14 AM
I have just started working for a new company and it has been less than a month. Unfortunately the CEO has been inappropriate in the work placement in the way that I am being spoken to and has said that they do not think they will keep me. Being out of work is unfortunately not an option for me and I was wondering if I would still be paid for my hours worked if either I, or the employer chose to end the job. I do not have a contract in place and was hoping that someone could offer some advice? Thank you in advance.
B - 12-Aug-18 @ 7:40 PM
I've worked for my employer for 16 months with no site of a contract - I now wish to leave and they know this so are trying to make me sign a contract. Can I resign and not agree to the terms and provide only 1 weeks notice? Or am I bound to their contract even though they've never made an attempt to provide a contract until now.
Claz - 12-Aug-18 @ 7:27 PM
I have worked for a catering company for over 10 years working 16/18 hours a week I have never had holiday pay am I entitled to it I did leave for 8 months then went back still nothing can I backdate it I feel a fool and unappreciated
Nor 2 - 12-Aug-18 @ 12:46 AM
My girl friend has work for a cafe in her local town for 3+ years without a written contract. She is pregnant and is wondering if her employer is legally obliged to pay her maternity leave? She has payslips to prove that she has worked there for a number of years
Harleydavidson1212 - 11-Aug-18 @ 5:42 PM
NM - Your Question:
My daughter has been working for a local establishment and has always been paid cash at the end of each shift. No written contract and no payslip ever issued. When she turned 18, she asked them to properly employ her and put her on the books, so to speak, so even though she would not be eligible to have to pay tax, she would get a payslip and it would be done legally. She refused to work for them for a while until they sorted it, and they kept saying they would. She has since done more hours and they have still never got it arranged and have now not even paid her anything.She is now owed approx £800 and I have told her to leave to avoid it increasing. She has a copy of timesheets that they have signed for the hours worked. Does she have any legal right to get this money from them and if so, how does she go about it? We have heard since that the company is in some financial difficulties!Thank you

Our Response:
The link here , should help answer your question. Your daughter can also report the company through HMRC, please see the link here .
ContractsAndAgreements - 9-Aug-18 @ 11:29 AM
My daughter has been working for a local establishment and has always been paid cash at the end of each shift. No written contract and no payslip ever issued. When she turned 18, she asked them to properly employ her and put her on the books, so to speak, so even though she would not be eligible to have to pay tax, she would get a payslip and it would be done legally. She refused to work for them for a while until they sorted it, and they kept saying they would. She has since done more hours and they have still never got it arranged and have now not even paid her anything. She is now owed approx £800 and I have told her to leave to avoid it increasing. She has a copy of timesheets that they have signed for the hours worked. Does she have any legal right to get this money from them and if so, how does she go about it? We have heard since that the company is in some financial difficulties! Thank you
NM - 8-Aug-18 @ 2:55 PM
Dolly- Your Question:
I worked In a salon for 3 months , no contract was given to me , I took holidays but used to many. But I didn’t know how much I was entitled to because I wasn’t shown a contract. I resigned from there they paid me my wages but on there side they made an error of not deducting holiday from me. Now they want some money back of me but my argument is that because I didn’t sign a contract do I have to give it back?

Our Response:
You can work out the amount of holidays a person is owed please see link here. Your employer can take the matter to the small claims court if you do find you owe the money.
ContractsAndAgreements - 7-Aug-18 @ 2:25 PM
I worked In a salon for 3 months , no contract was given to me , I took holidays but used to many. But I didn’t know how much I was entitled to because I wasn’t shown a contract. I resigned from there they paid me my wages but on there side they made an error of not deducting holiday from me. Now they want some money back of me but my argument is that because I didn’t sign a contract do I have to give it back?
Dolly - 6-Aug-18 @ 8:49 PM
soph - Your Question:
I've been working for a company as a waitress for only 3 months now. At the beginning we were told we would start off on 0 hour contracts, however we never saw the contracts or were asked to sign anything. Furthermore we have had no payslips provided to us and after the first month of work all of our pay was sent directly to our bank accounts and now they are paying 2 out of 3 employees in cash and we were payed late. Just wanted some thoughts on this situation.

Our Response:
Your employer should fit in with the two-month written statement rule, which is via the link here. If the company is being paid in cash, the company can be reported via the link here . Your employer doesn't have to give payslips, but you can ask for them and your employer is obliged to supply you with one.
ContractsAndAgreements - 6-Aug-18 @ 12:12 PM
I've been working for a company as a waitress for only 3 months now. At the beginning we were told we would start off on 0 hour contracts, however we never saw the contracts or were asked to sign anything. Furthermore we have had no payslips provided to us and after the first month of work all of our pay was sent directly to our bank accounts and now they are paying 2 out of 3 employees in cash and we were payed late. Just wanted some thoughts on this situation.
soph - 4-Aug-18 @ 3:30 PM
Mammabear2k14- Your Question:
I’ve been working for my employer for 4 months however I haven’t received or signed a contract of employment. Do I have to give notice when I want to quit?

Our Response:
As a rule, when you are in your probationary period an employee or employer would give a week's notice either side. Please see link here.
ContractsAndAgreements - 2-Aug-18 @ 1:55 PM
I’ve been working for my employer for 4 months however I haven’t received or signed a contract of employment. Do I have to give notice when I want to quit?
Mammabear2k14 - 31-Jul-18 @ 10:43 PM
I have worked in the same school for 12 years (with a contract) and for 11 years I have helped run the holiday clubs (without a contract).The original head master agreed, one person would cover leasing of facilities, one person would be overall manager of the holiday clubs and I would be manager of certain clubs. Now the club manager is retiring and a new manager has been appointed and it looks like I have lost my position of manager over the clubs that were originally agree to. Do they have to honour the original agreement or not?
Sakagami - 24-Jul-18 @ 7:12 PM
Hey there, my girlfriend was working for a big hotel chain for almost two weeks, today she was called in on her day off and was fired for no apparent reason other than “it wasn’t working out” and she didn’t sign any contracts or agreements notifying her that she could be terminated without cause. She didn’t really sign any paperwork but she did work there for the two weeks she was “employed”. Can I seek legal action against the hotel for wrongful termination?
Louis - 23-Jul-18 @ 11:11 PM
Hi, 5 years ago I formed company 'X' together with person C who sold his old company 'Y' to 'X' for a sum of money. That money was to be paid back to 'X' in the form of loan over 5 years by both myself and C. As the company was not generating enough income, C suggested waiving his part of the dividend and instead using his part of the profit to pay back the loan. So over the 5 years, I was getting paid a salary and a dividend and C was getting a salary and his dividend was paying the loan back to 'Y'. Now the 5 years have ended, C turned around and told me that I owe him lots of money from not paying my part of the loan and he is now claiming 'deferred' dividends. In short he has not agreed to pay out any 'X' dividends for almost a year now and recently he stopped my salary on the basis that I have not generated any income. We have not had a written employment contract but have been getting wages for 5 years. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Si - 23-Jul-18 @ 11:09 AM
I worked for a friend they gave me a contract stating 41 to 42 hours a week 168 a month. Was paid a salary of 23k a year. I resigned as was bullied by my boss ie he gave me a first written warning without letting me explain myself and carried on bullying me after. I have no proof as the firm is small and only the new nurse was in the room. So i resigned now im asking for correct wages and in 13 weeks they said i accumulated 5 days hols and as i had time off in hours those woyld be deducted. I worked april 3 weeks 128.2 hours may 163 hours june 188.5 hours and july 43.5 hours including my notice and i deducted every hour i was off. Im being told i will be paid 2 days 5 days hols 5 hrs ot and the 56 quid they owe me from the first months wage. Also they are saying my first contract is void as i statted the 9th april and they had 3rd april on it. And apparently they issued me a new contract which i signed stated 43 to 44 hours a week 176 a month??? I never received this contract so dont know who signed it. Im also being threatened by hr for asking for cash in hand to apparently avoid paying tax credits, when i asked my friend in her house for cash in hand so i could declare it myself as i was working far more hours than i expected. She told me 37.5 hours before i started and after i gave up my last job changed it to 43.5 a week.
Tia - 20-Jul-18 @ 6:36 PM
My 17 year old daughter was working in a hair salon for almost a yearshe was answering phonesdealing with cash etc she started this job last August when she was 16 she has recently turned 17 on 5th July. The thing is the owner of the salon ended her employment yesterday she had no contractshe asked for one a few times but the owner kept saying he'd sort one later but never didalso the owner told other workers that he was letting her go before he told herwhich I think is out of order
Tcshaw - 20-Jul-18 @ 10:27 AM
mae - Your Question:
Hi. I have a friend who worked as a company driver for about 3 years. SSS and other benefits are deducted in his wages. but he doesn't have any contract or he did not sign any contract that he is working or he is an employee in ths company. after almost 8 months, his employer did not contacted him anymore. and one of my friend advised him to file a case. so what will happen now? he is very confused and hopeless.thanks sir.

Our Response:
You don't say if he is claiming unfair dismissal. If so, please see link here for more information.
ContractsAndAgreements - 19-Jul-18 @ 2:39 PM
Hi. I have a friend who worked as a company driver for about 3 years. SSS and other benefits are deducted in his wages. but he doesn't have any contract or he did not sign any contract that he is working or he is an employee in ths company. after almost 8 months, his employer did not contacted him anymore. and one of my friend advised him to file a case. so what will happen now? he is very confused and hopeless. thanks sir.
mae - 17-Jul-18 @ 10:43 AM
Ljrt - Your Question:
Hey. My partner was fired whilst we were away on holiday without warning or disciplinary. After 3 months of working there he still wasn’t given a written contract despite him asking many times for it. The owner is now refusing to pay his owed wages. any suggestions?

Our Response:
If your partner was only three months into the job, then he would have still been on probationary period, please see link here . However, if your partner has done the work, then he is owed the money. If his former employer continues to refuse to pay, the small claims court would be an option. Please see link here .
ContractsAndAgreements - 16-Jul-18 @ 2:36 PM
Hey. My partner was fired whilst we were away on holiday without warning or disciplinary. After 3 months of working there he still wasn’t given a written contract despite him asking many times for it. The owner is now refusing to pay his owed wages.. any suggestions?
Ljrt - 14-Jul-18 @ 12:54 AM
here is a question, when someone have started one work earlier than the said date on thier contract and if they don"t get paid for their earlier one week work is that legal?
prince - 13-Jul-18 @ 4:10 PM
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Latest Comments
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