Breach of Contract 

Every employee who works for an employer has a contract of employment. Even if you do not have a written contract, you have an agreement with your employer and expectations set by conduct. There are also terms implied by law (such as the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Equality Act 2010) that apply to all employment relationships, whether expressly mentioned or not.  
 
The remedies available to you will depend upon the breach itself. Serious breaches of contract on your employer's part may be the basis of a claim for constructive dismissal. 
A breach of contract can be very serious. Some common examples of breach of contract include: 
being unfairly dimissed 
being wrongfully dismissed 
having unlawful deductions made from your wage 
changes to your entitlements 

What should I do in the case of a breach of contract? 

If you think there has been a breach of contract by you or your employer you should first try to resolve this with them directly. Employers have a duty to provide a grievance procedure. Making use of it will help you later if you end up at an Employment Tribunal to show that you followed the correct procedure. It will also help you keep within the time deadlines. 
 
However, you can always seek legal advice before you approach your employer. It will increase your confidence in any discussions and we can support you through the process. It can also prove cost-effective, as receiving advice at the outset may help you resolve the issue quickly and avoid a costly tribunal claim.In most cases, you must make your application to an employment tribunal within three months minus one day of the date when the event you are complaining about last happened. 
The law requires that employers provide employees with a written statement of their particulars of employment within two months, and it is common for this be included in a contract of employment. This statement must include: 
 
names of the employer and employee 
date the employment began 
where the job is located 
hours of work 
holiday and sick pay entitlement 
a job title and description 
details of pay and frequency 
notice period 
any pension provisions 

About your contract of employment 

Once you accept a verbal offer of employment you have a legally binding contract. It's just a bit vague until you write it down.  
 
The contract, in conjunction with employment legislation, will affect how the employment relationship operates in practice. It will contain many of the parties’ rights and obligations in relation to one another. Some of them express, some implied by law. 
The contract may contain a detailed job description which will have a direct bearing on what an employer can require an employee to do during employment; what the employee may refuse to do and will be important in redundancy cases where an employee’s job is said to be at risk. 
The contract will set out important matters like rates of pay, hours of work, holiday entitlement, benefits that accrue to the employee during employment such as a pension. It may incorporate disciplinary and grievance procedures. It may include express duties of fidelity, provisions about confidential information and intellectual property. 
The contract may set a limited-term for the duration of employment. It will contain information about notice that the parties are required to give to each other to bring the employment to an end. 
The contract may dictate how and when work is to be done by the employee including, say, a provision for shift work. The contact might say that the employee could be required to work in a different geographical location – perhaps some way distant from the original place of work. 
Some contracts include the right of an employer to insist that the employee undergoes a medical examination. A right to search employees is sometimes contained within the contract. 
Some contracts restrict an employee to working only for the employer during employment. The employer may reserve a right to put an employee on garden leave. The contract may contain restrictive covenants that attempt to protect the employer from unfair competition from an employee when the relationship ends. 

Get in touch 

Do you have a legal matter you'd like to discuss with us? Get in touch using the details below or use the form here and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your enquiry. 
Phone: 0121 452 5130 
Address: Spencer Shaw Solicitors Limited 
Vancouver House, 111 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8LB 
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