3 Common Employment Contract Breaches & What You Can do About Them

Anita North
National Head of Employment

An employment contract breach is when one party breaks the terms written out in the contract.

In this article, we’ll look at three of the most common ways an employer might breach the terms of your employment contract and look at what action you can take if they do.

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3 Common Breaches of an Employment Contract

1. If Your Employer Fails to Pay You What You’re Owed

Your employment contract should state how much you will get paid for doing the job you were hired to do, and also when you will get paid. It should also establish:

  • what holiday or sick pay you will get;
  • your pension arrangements.

If your employer fails to pay you what your contract says you’re entitled to, then they could be in breach of your employment contract.

2. If Your Employer Changes Your Contract Without Your Knowledge

Your employment contract should also clearly set out:

  • what your job role and duties are;
  • what your payment terms are;
  • what your location of work is.

If your employer changes any of these details in your contract without telling you and without your agreement, then they could be in breach of your employment contract.

3. If Your Employer Doesn’t Pay You During Your Notice Period

If your employer has dismissed you, they are legally obliged to pay you during your notice period or pay you in lieu if they dismissed you without notice. If they don’t, they could be in breach of your employment contract.

What to do if Your Employer Breaches Your Employment Contract

If you feel your employer is in breach of your employment contract, you can take action in several ways, depending on how serious the breach is.

Raise The Breach With Your Employer

If it’s a minor breach of contract, for example, if your employer has paid you late, you could try and resolve it by having an informal chat with them. Often, minor contractual breaches can be down to simple mistakes or oversights. Talking to your employer about your concerns might be a quicker and easier way to sort the problem without having to spend time, money and stress taking legal action against them.

Raise a Formal Grievance in Writing

If the breach is more serious or it doesn’t get resolved after you’ve raised it with your employer, you could raise a formal grievance in writing. If you do this, your employer must investigate the grievance you’ve raised and provide you with an outcome in writing.

Take Legal Action

If your employer is in serious breach of your contract or if raising a formal grievance hasn’t sorted the issue out, then your next step might be to take legal action. Legal action may also be the only option available to you if you no longer work for your employer but wish to raise a claim.

If you think your employer has breached their contract, talk to our team of Employment Lawyers.

Proving a breach of contract can often be difficult, time-consuming and costly. So, once we’ve assessed your situation, we’ll run through what options you have.

Get in touch with the team to see if we can help.

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