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HR tip: Implied contractual terms

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Question:

"What are implied terms?"

HR tip:

Express terms are those that have been explained to the employee, for example by being set out in the offer letter, contractual statement or employee handbook. Implied terms are those that have not been explained but, through common law developed over the centuries, have become and form part of every contract of employment.

Examples are the duty of the employee to work diligently, to take reasonable care of company property and to do nothing that would besmirch the employer's good name.

Conversely, the employer has common law duties to provide work, to take reasonable care of the employee's property and to treat the employee in a reasonable manner. If any terms that ordinarily are left implied but are particularly important to you, you should express them. An example might be a duty of confidentiality if you deal with highly sensitive information; whilst this is implied in every contract you may feel it prudent to explain in writing exactly what is confidential and how it should be handled.

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