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An Employers Guide to Understanding Employment Rights Breaches

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An employment contract lays out the employment conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties of an employee and employer. Terms mentioned in an employment contract are legally enforceable leaving both employer and employee vulnerable to legal and financial repercussions should either party fail to comply with these terms.

An employment rights breach is something that conflicts with the terms laid out in the employment contract. For example, an employer may breach the terms of the employment contract by not paying their employees on time. An employee could break the terms of the contract in a number of ways, such as not working the agreed hours.

Stealing from an employer would not usually be a term written down in an employment contract, however, it is what constitutes an implied term. Implied terms are terms considered too obvious to write into the contract but are just as enforceable. Not all the terms of a contract are written down. A breach may be of a verbally agreed term, a written term, or an implied term of a contract. You can find more information about employment contracts and implied terms in this post on employment contracts.

Common Breaches of Contract Include

  • An employee quits without giving or working proper notice
  • An employee goes to work for a competitor when their contract doesn’t allow it
  • Notice and notice pay

If An Employee Has Breached Your Contract

The first step you should undertake when you have a breach of contract claim against an employee is of course to check the contract in question to see exactly what terms have been written down or preferably have a legal professional check the contract and see if you have a substantial claim against the employee.

You would normally use a county court for a breach of contract claim against an employee. The only way you would be able to make an application to an Industrial Tribunal is in response to a breach of contract claim that an employee has made.

  • You may be awarded damages if the employment contract breach resulted in financial loss.
  • If an employee is bringing a claim against you, you could be subject to paying out compensation.

If you have doubts about a breach of contract or would like to make sure your employment contracts contain everything they need, contact an employment law professional today on 0161 115 6164.



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