Q1. "What are the differences between the express terms and implied terms?"
Within the legal framework of the UK, ‘express terms’ and ‘implied terms’ represent legally binding terms and conditions (T&C) contained within a contract of employment (Taylor & Emir, 2019). Both terms may be written or verbally agreed upon between the employee and employer in written employment contracts.
Perhaps the most descriptive distinction between the two would be: a) ‘express terms’ refer to explicitly written T&C where interpretation is unnecessary, and b) ‘implied terms’ are those deemed sufficiently discernible without explicit statement. An example of an ‘express’ term would be a specific written reference to remuneration (i.e., £45,000 per annum, 35 hours a week) (Taylor & Emir, 2019). An example of an ‘implied’ term in action would be the reasonable assumption of acquiescence to, and non-violation of, UK law such as the Equality Act 2010 or Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (i.e., employees are protected from discrimination, and the employer will provide a safe work environment) (Armstrong & Taylor, 2023).
The reason why two types of terms exist is dependent on the commercial area and practicality (Armstrong & Taylor, 2023). For instance, ‘express terms’ can assist with mitigating misunderstandings between employee and employer by clearly affirming the accountabilities, rights, and duties each has to the other. Whereas ‘implied terms’ guarantee legal protection and a degree of flexibility. It would be impractical to include written reference to every legislation applicable to the employee or employer when it is already established by law, regardless of the employment relationship. It also provides adaptability without needing to reissue a contract every time legislation is reformed, or regulatory requirements change.
- Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2023). The employment relationship. Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of People Management (16th ed., pp. 464-468). Kogan Page.
- Taylor, S., & Emir, A. (2019). The contract of employment. In Employment Law: An Introduction (5th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Q2. "What are the examples of statutory terms?"
Within the UK, ‘statutory terms’ refer to the legal rules or regulations mandated through Acts of Parliament as legislation or statutes (Lewis et al., 2023). They articulate the appropriate rights, conduct, and/or obligations citizens, organisations, and jurisdictions must comply with. Statutory terms are not permanent and subject to revision or amendment according to economic or societal fluctuations (Lewis et al., 2023). New terms may be introduced in response to the UK's international commitments or issues surfacing from pre-existing legislation.
Some examples of statutory terms within an employment context include the Sale of Goods Act 1979, which requires merchandise sold to be of acceptable quality and stated purpose, the Employment Rights Act 1996, which introduced the right to paid holiday and protection from unfair dismissal, and Equality Act 2010, rendered it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees with protected characteristics (Armstrong & Taylor, 2023).
Different mechanisms and procedures enforce statutory terms according to the law violated and its circumstances (Armstrong & Taylor, 2023). This may extend further to include different regulatory bodies or organisations. For instance, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) arbitrates violations of the Data Protection Act on behalf of the government. Employees can seek assistance from the Employment Tribunal or court if they believe their statutory rights have been violated. Specific penalties are incurred if a violation is proven from fines issued for non-compliance (i.e., violating the National Minimum Wage Act 1998), prosecution as a criminal offence (i.e., violating Equality Act 2010), or a court injunction to remedy an employer behaviour that compromises health and safety (i.e., Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) (Lewis et al., 2023).
- Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2023). Dealing with the legal aspects of employment. Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice: A Guide to the Theory and Practice of People Management (16th ed., pp. 528-542). Kogan Page.
- Lewis, D., Sargeant, M., & Schwab, B. (2023). Formation of the contract of employment. Employment Law: The Essentials (16th ed.). Kogan Page.