Individual or personal contracts

Last updated: 17 Apr 2023

A personal contract is where terms and conditions of employment, especially pay, are individually agreed without being collectively negotiated. The contract can be tailored by the employer so that employees have different terms of employment, benefits or pay arrangements to their colleagues.

Pay is often the only truly personal element, and even that is not always the case. Personal contracts within an organisation or a group of workers are often fairly standard.

Legally, all contracts of employment are individual, as the means of enforcing any contract is down to the individual employee and employer. Staff on personal contracts have the same statutory employment rights as other employees.

People on personal contracts can still belong to their trade union and have as much need for union assistance as other members with collectively agreed terms.

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