If your employer does not comply with the terms of your employment contract, this is a breach of contract and you may be entitled to make a claim against them for any losses suffered.
Similarly, your employer cannot force you to accept changes to your employment contract if you do not want to unless this is specifically permitted within the contract.
At Springhouse Solicitors, we deal exclusively with employment law, meaning our team have genuine expertise. If you believe that your employment contract has been breached by your employer, we can advise you of your options and represent you in any action against them.
What is a breach of contract?
A breach of contract occurs when either party to a contract does something contrary to the terms of the contract. Examples of ways in which your employer might breach your employment contract include:
- Not paying your wages or not paying your holiday pay
- Not paying you sick pay that is agreed in the contract
- Not paying you during your notice period
- Not paying agreed expenses
- Ending your employment without giving you the agreed period of notice
- Changing the terms of the contract without your agreement
- Failing to follow the correct disciplinary procedure
If a breach of contract is so serious that you feel that you cannot continue in your job and you leave, you may be entitled to bring a claim for constructive dismissal. There are strict timescales for taking action, so it is recommended that you seek legal advice without delay. Wherever possible, you should speak to an employment solicitor before leaving.
What to do if your employment contract has been breached by your employer
As soon as you become aware that your employer has breached your employment contact you should speak to them about it. If you do nothing, a court could find that you accepted the breach of contract.
Initially, it is advisable to try and resolve matters informally by discussing the issue with your employer. If this does not work, then you can raise a formal grievance. The process for doing this should be set out in your employment contract or employee handbook.
If the matter is still not resolved, then you should seek legal advice as to your next step. If you ask us to act for you, we will initially try and resolve the matter without recourse to the court. This is generally quicker and more cost-effective. We are skilled negotiators and are often able to agree an acceptable solution for clients that allows them to put the disagreement behind them.
How to prove a breach of contract
You will need to put together evidence of your employer’s breach of contract, starting with a copy of your employment contract. Further evidence could include correspondence and emails from your employer, payslips and witness statements.
Sometimes, the contract term may exist without being expressly written in the contract, for example, if all employees are always given 22 days’ holiday each year. In this case, you would also need statements confirming that this happens, so that you could demonstrate an implied contract term.
Our employment law solicitors have in-depth expertise of representing employees across a range of sectors. We can ensure that you have a strong case with all of the necessary supporting evidence.
We will also advise you as to the best way to make your claim. For example, if the breach relates to money that you have not been paid, it may be better for you to make a claim for unlawful deduction of wages which can be made at an employment tribunal.
If you still work for your employer, a breach of contract claim has to be made to a court rather than a tribunal.
Challenging changes or breaches of contract
If you believe that your employer has not treated you in accordance with the terms of your employment contract, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible as ignoring the situation could damage your case.
Our specialist employment solicitors will examine the details of your change or breach of contract claim, ensure your rights are upheld and protect you from being fairly dismissed.
We will guide you through what can be a sensitive process, fighting your corner throughout, and help you to take practical steps towards a successful conclusion.
Expertise for employees
Your rights during employment
- Bullying and harassment
- Disciplinary issues
- Family rights and flexible working
- Working time and holidays