Employment Contract Solicitors in Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen & Highlands of Scotland

Employment contracts set out the relationship between an employer and employee. They are a specific type of contract made up of a variety of terms governing the rights and responsibilities of workers and those who employ them. These terms can cover many different things associated with employment, such as general working conditions, amount and payment of wages or bonuses and how an employment relationship will come to an end.

Employment Lawyers Scotland

Here we provide an overview of some of the key aspects of contracts of employment, how these apply to different types of employment and when a breach may occur. Our specialist lawyers can help employers and employees understand their employment contract terms so they are clear about the employment relationships they enter into. For more information or advice, please contact us.

Terms & Conditions of Employment

There are many different types of employment contract terms and conditions that come from a variety of sources. Although they should normally be written down in a document to avoid any uncertainty, terms that are agreed verbally or implied by law may also be legally binding on employees and employers. The main types of employment contract terms include:

  • Express terms – these are the elements that are explicitly agreed by the parties to an employment contract, either in writing or verbally, and can cover any aspect of employment, from job description to remuneration;
  • Implied terms – these are the elements included into a contract even though they haven’t been explicitly agreed. They are usually part of the contract because: they are necessary to the employment relationship; they give effect to an unexpressed intention; the regular conduct of an employee or employer amounts to the adherence of an unwritten term; or, the term is part of the usual custom or practice of a particular trade or occupation;
  • Terms imposed by law – these are standard obligations that the law implies into all employment contracts, such as the duty placed on an employer to pay wages, the duty placed on an employee to obey an employer’s reasonable instructions, the right to minimum periods of annual leave and notice, and limits on working hours;
  • Terms from other documents – terms from other employment documents, such as staff handbooks or rules for the workplace, can be incorporated into an employment contract and have legal effect.

Due to the many different ways rights and responsibilities can arise under employment law, care and attention should be given when agreeing the terms of employment. At BBM Solicitors, our employment lawyers can assist with pre-contractual negotiations, provide advice on the terms that may apply, help you draft an employment contract that clearly sets out an employment relationship and help you understand and interpret existing employment terms.

Contracts for Services

Being self-employed, such as a freelancer or contractor, has many benefits. Advantages include flexible working, being able to decide who you work with and taking control of your own profits and tax liabilities. However, your self-employed status can be put in jeopardy if you work for a client in a way that implies you are an employee and have entered into an employment relationship with them. If this is found to be the case, you might not be able to claim tax deductions and your client may be liable for tax and National Insurance contributions in relation to your work, which will be deducted from your fee.

To ensure that your employment status is protected and to avoid entering into an employment relationship, it is important to carefully draft a consultancy agreement or contract for services, clearly setting out your own, as well as your clients’, rights and responsibilities. The clauses of a contract for services usually include:

  • A precise definition of the services that will be provided and if appropriate, the scope of the project and how long it will take;
  • A statement of your self-employed independent status;
  • How much the work will cost, when you expect to be paid and the method of payment;
  • The allocation of any rights, such as intellectual property licensing and the reuse or resale of any work created for the client.

It is also important to draft a contract that takes into account the status of the client. The terms that you may want to include are likely to vary if you are working directly for a client or through an agency.

Drafting contracts for services that are valid and have legal affect is a complex process. Our specialist employment lawyers have the skills and expertise to ensure your contracts for services protect your self-employed status and clearly define the relationship you have with your clients.

Part-Time/Freelance/Contract Working

Under UK employment law, employment status determines what rights and responsibilities apply to a working relationship. If you are an employee, you are entitled to more rights than if you are classed as a worker.

Employees are those who work under an employment contract. They are entitled to many rights such as statutory sick pay, protection against unfair dismissal and maternity, paternity or adoption leave and pay.

Those who work on a more casual basis are usually classed as workers. Although workers do not have as many rights as employees, they are, for example, entitled to receive the national minimum wage and 28 days’ annual leave per year in the same way as employees.  They also have the right not to be discriminated against.

If you are unsure about your employment status or would like advice about your rights as either an employee or worker, our specialist employment law solicitors can help.

Contact our Expert Employment Solicitors in Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen & Highlands in Scotland

If you are unsure about your employment status or would like advice about your rights as either an employee or worker, our specialist employment law solicitors can help. Dealing with, or being subject to, dismissal or disciplinary matters can be a stressful experience. At BBM Employment Lawyers, our members have vast experience helping employers follow the proper procedures and making sure employees’ rights aren’t infringed. For clear advice and assistance about Employment Law, contact our expert team at BBM Solicitors by calling us in Edinburgh 

For clear advice and assistance about Employment Law, contact our expert team at BBM Solicitors by calling us in Edinburgh 0131 526 3280, Wick 01955 698118 or by filling out our enquiry form.

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