The Validity of Unsigned Employment Contracts in Northern Ireland

Posted in : Essential Guide to Employment Contracts on 20 March 2023
Kiera Lee
Mills Selig
Issues covered: Contracts of Employment

Employers frequently ask whether an employment contract is legally binding if it was never signed. Whether an employer wishes to use an unsigned contract to support or quash a claim, the position is the same - an employment contract does not have to be signed by both parties for it to be legally binding. This is evidenced in a number of ways.

The Legislation

There is no specific legal requirement for employment contracts to be signed in order to be enforceable, as there is no legal requirement to have a written employment contract in the first place. Employment terms can come in the form of an express, implied, written or oral agreement, as well as any statutory entitlements.


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This article is correct at 20/03/2023

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Kiera Lee
Mills Selig

The main content of this article was provided by Kiera Lee. Contact telephone number is 028 9024 3878 or email

View all articles by Kiera Lee