Contracts and terms of employment in Scotland

As a business in Scotland, your employment contracts must specify the terms of the employment. Find out what you need to consider as an employer.

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As an employer in Scotland, you are obligated to provide specific information about your employee’s role in writing within one month of them starting work. This includes sick pay, place of work and pension information.

The tax and employment responsibilities you have for your staff depends on their employment status.

There are three main types of employment contracts:

  • Permanent contracts: for long-term commitment to your business and without an identified end date
  • Fixed-term contracts: for an agreed period of time for a specific task, project or cover
  • Casual contracts: permanent and fixed-term contracts that can be guaranteed for a specific number of hours. Employers can also consider contacting agency workers via recruitment agencies to react to increases and decreases in the business at short notice, according to your business needs.

Other employer responsibilities

It’s your legal responsibility to make sure employees have a right to work in the UK.


As well as hiring talent in Scotland, you can also bring employees to the UK from other countries through a flexible visa system. However, anyone from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland may need to apply for a UK visa to work in Scotland. To do this, they need to apply to the UK Border Agency (UKBA).


There are no nationality restrictions on company directors in Scotland and the rest of the UK. This means that as a director of a company registered in Scotland, you do not need to be a resident in the UK.


As an employer, you may also include additional terms such as restricting how confidential information is used and the return of company property after a worker leaves your business.