Contract of Employment in Agriculture, Equine, Estates and Farming

Employee Contracts


In agriculture as in other industries, the corner stone of a good relationship between an employer and employees revolves around having terms that are clearly defined and regularly reviewed to ensure compliance with the latest legislation.


A contract of employment is an agreement between the employer and employee and is the basis of the employment relationship. A contract starts as soon as an offer of employment is accepted and by starting work proves the employee has accepted the terms and conditions provided. Contracts don’t have to be in writing to be legally valid, but it is better if they are as it will avoid potential misunderstanding at a later stage.


An employer cannot change an existing employee contract without consulting and consent from employees.


Employees are legally entitled to a Written Statement of the main terms and conditions of employment within two months of starting work, a written statement should describe the main terms of the contract of employment,


The written statement must include by law:


  • The names of employer and employee
  • The date employee started work
  • The amount of pay and how often employee will be paid, for example, weekly or monthly
  • The hours of work
  • Holiday entitlement, including how many days off employees are entitled to and what the holiday pay will be, if any
  • How much notice employees are entitled to if they are dismissed and how much warning employees must give the employer  if they want to leave the job
  • The title of the job
  • Where the job is based, for example, whether  employees will have to work in more than one location
  • What the disciplinary, dismissal and grievance  procedures are in the workplace
  • What sick pay employees are entitled to
  • Whether employees can join the employer’s  occupational pension scheme, if there is one.



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