Implied Contract Terms in Employment: What You Need to Know
Employment contracts establish the terms and conditions of an employment relationship between an employer and an employee. These agreements typically include details such as job duties, compensation, benefits, and termination procedures. However, not all employment contracts are written or explicitly stated. In some cases, certain terms may be implied, meaning they are not explicitly stated but are still considered part of the employment agreement. These terms are referred to as “implied contract terms” in employment.
What Are Implied Contract Terms?
Implied contract terms in employment are legally binding terms that are not explicitly stated but can be inferred from a variety of sources, including employer policies, industry norms, past practices, and the conduct and language of the parties involved. These terms are considered to be part of the employment agreement, even though they are not written or agreed upon by both parties.
Examples of Implied Contract Terms
There are many possible terms that can be implied in an employment contract. Some common examples include:
– A duty of good faith and fair dealing: This means that employers and employees must act honestly and fairly towards each other, and not deliberately undermine or harm one another`s interests.
– A reasonable notice period for termination: In some cases, courts have implied a requirement for employers to provide a reasonable notice period before terminating an employee`s contract, even if this is not explicitly stated in the agreement.
– The obligation to provide a safe working environment: Employers have a legal duty to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees, and this obligation may be implied even if it is not explicitly stated in the contract.
– The duty to follow company policies and procedures: Employers may be expected to follow their own policies and procedures in certain situations, such as disciplinary actions or promotions, even if these policies are not explicitly stated in the employment contract.
How Are Implied Contract Terms Enforced?
If an employer breaches an implied contract term, the employee may have legal grounds to take legal action for breach of contract. In order to prove that an implied contract term exists, the employee must show that the term was understood and agreed upon by both parties, even if it was not explicitly stated in the written contract. This can be challenging, as the existence and scope of implied contract terms can be subject to interpretation and debate.
Employers can minimize the risk of breaching implied contract terms by establishing clear policies and procedures, communicating expectations and responsibilities to employees, and consistently following these practices. Employers should also be aware of the potential for implied contract terms in their employment relationships and consult with legal counsel if necessary.
In conclusion, while not all aspects of an employment agreement may be explicitly written down, implied contract terms can be just as important and binding. Employers and employees should be aware of these terms and ensure that they are clear on each other`s obligations, duties, and expectations to avoid any misunderstandings or legal disputes.