What is the difference between implied and express terms?

The rights and duties of both employers and employees are found in the contract of employment. They are called 'terms' of the contract.

Some of these terms are 'express' terms – that is they are expressly or specifically stated, either orally (at the initial interview, say) or in writing. Express terms include things like pay, hours and holidays.

The law states that certain express terms must be put in writing and handed to the employee in the form of a written statement of particulars within two months of starting work.

There are other contractual terms called 'implied' terms. These are not expressly or explicitly stated because, in the main, they are fairly obvious to both parties to the contract of employment.

Occasionally, the courts will imply a term in a contract of employment where an important term has been left out.

Implied terms include statutory rights, such as the right to equal pay and duties, such as a duty of care.

An important implied term is the duty of mutual trust and confidence, which is implied in every employment contract.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.