UK employment law and best practice › Making and Varying Employment Contracts

Making and Varying Employment Contracts

Explore the legal risks, opportunities and practical management considerations of contract changes

This is a sample learning overview that we can design and deliver specifically for your organisation.

How do you avoid the legal pitfalls of changing employment contracts? We can design and deliver a (typically 1-day) training course that provides your team with a sound understanding of contract law and its application in the workplace. It emphasises how to handle contract variations in line with changing business needs. It explains the risks and the opportunities together with practical management considerations, set in their legal context.

  • How and when can you change key terms and conditions of employment?
  • What if your employees do not accept proposed changes?
  • When can you vary the contract unilaterally?
  • When is it safe to terminate the contract and offer re-engagement on changed terms?
  • How and when can you harmonise contract terms across different teams, divisions or businesses?

Designed for HR and personnel professionals, employee relations managers, legal advisers and HR consultants.

Learning highlights

  • Understand the importance of contract law in the employment relationship
  • Know what to include in an employment contract - and how to vary this if necessary
  • Be able to advise on contract flexibility
  • Know how to check and update employment contracts
  • Explore the practical and legal solutions to problems that may rise from varying employment contracts - in an interactive, case study format

View typical programme content



Registration and coffee


Welcome, introduction and outline of objectives


Contracts and the recruitment process

  • Meaning of a ‘contract’
  • Recruitment process and its effect on a contract
  • Formation of a contract

Contractual relationship

  • Types of contract
  • Contractual relationship - ‘employees’ and ‘workers’
  • Individual contracts and collective agreement
  • Continuity of employment
  • Termination of employment



Contractual Terms

  • Making the contract
  • Written particulars
  • Fundamental implied and express terms
  • Status of workplace policies



Varying contracts and the nature of change

  • Building in flexibility
  • Changes to working hours
  • Business reorganisation and redundancy
  • TUPE and changing contract terms
  • Flexible working requests

Changing contract terms

  • Change authorised by the contract
  • Express and implied variation
  • Agreed and unilateral variation
  • Acceptance and non-acceptance
  • Dismissal and re-employment



Practical management issues

  • Defending business needs
  • Producing a ‘sellable’ product
  • Consultation, agreement and persuasion
  • Overcoming objections
  • Maintaining employee communication
  • Defending subsequent tribunal proceedings

Close of training

Explore our subject areas

Learning channels

A wide range of learning methods ensures we deliver learning that is appropriate, specific and drives sustainable change.

These include

Explore all our
delivery methods