Written Employment Particulars
Contracts of employment do not have to be in writing. However, employees must be provided with a written statement of particulars. All employees, regardless of the number of hours they work per week, are entitled to receive a written statement from their employer, within two months of starting work. The statement describes the main terms of the contract of employment. The statement must give details about the names of the employer and employee, the date when the employment began, the date on which the employee’s period of continuous employment began, job of work, holiday entitlement, sick pay, pension schemes, notice grievance, dismissal and disciplinary procedure and reference to any collective agreements, which affect the terms of employment. If, after the material date, there is a change in any of the employment particulars, the employer has to give to the employee a written statement containing particulars of the change.
Source: §1-4 of Employment Rights Act (ERA), 1996 last amended in 2012
Fixed Term Contracts
FTCs are regulated by the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations. There is no limitation on maximum number of successive FTCs. Fixed-term employee shall become a permanent employee after four years of continuous employment under one or successive fixed-term contracts. However, this statutory four-year limit does not apply if employment on a fixed-term contract can be justified on objective grounds, or if the period of four years has been lengthened under a collective or workplace agreement.
Source: Regulation 8 (2 & 5) of the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations
The ERA does not regulate the probationary period as such. However, it provides for a "qualifying period of employment" which is comparable to the probationary period insofar as employees are excluded from the protection against unfair dismissal during that period. Maximum probationary (trial) period is 24 months.
Source: §108 of the ERA amended by the Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order 2012).