Home - What are the rules around signing employment contracts?

When an employee signs an employment contract, do they need to return the entire document need or is it okay to just return the final signature page? Should employees be required to sign every page? If a change is made to an employment contract after signing, does it suffice to email the employee with the change and not require an updated signature in return?

For record-keeping purposes, it is best practice to ensure that any employee who signs an employment contract returns the employment contract in full (including the completed signature page). Doing so will provide you, as the employer, with a comprehensive record that the employee has agreed to all the terms of their employment contained in the employment contract.

Secondly, there is no need for the employee to sign every page of the contract. So long as the signature page/section of the contract has been signed and dated by the employee, the contract will be legally binding.

In relation to your third query, an employer cannot unilaterally change an employment contract and merely notify the employee of this change. Both parties will need to agree to the change, either by signature or by their conduct, depending on the circumstances. Variations should be made in writing and signed by both parties if this is required by the terms of the contract. For more minor variations (e.g. the start date), this could be done through an email exchange. More significant changes can be effected by a letter of variation (a letter specifying the specific contractual changes) signed by both parties. If the contract does not require the signature of both parties to a variation, an employer could send correspondence to the employee setting out the changes and letting the employee know that, if no objection is made, they will be deemed to have accepted the variation by their conduct. Employers should keep records of any variations of the employment contract that are made.

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