common law of employment

What is the Common Law of Employment?

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The employment relationship is one of the most fundamental aspects of our professional lives, yet it is also one of the most complex. Have you ever wondered how the principles governing this relationship came to be? The common law of employment plays a crucial role in shaping employers’ and employees’ rights and obligations. Understanding this legal framework is essential for anyone involved in the workforce. Let’s delve into common employment law and why seeking professional help can be invaluable.

Understanding Common Law of Employment

Common law, or case law, is derived from judicial decisions rather than statutes. In the context of employment, common law principles have developed over centuries, providing a foundation for employment relationships. These principles are not written in any single piece of legislation but are instead found in court decisions. Read more.

Historical Background

The roots of common law in employment can be traced back to medieval England. Over time, the judiciary established various principles that govern employment relationships. These principles have evolved, adapting to changing social and economic conditions, but their core purpose remains the same: to ensure fairness and justice in the workplace.

Key Principles

Several fundamental principles underpin the common law of employment:

  1. Implied Terms in Employment Contracts: Certain terms are implied in every employment contract, even if not explicitly stated. These include the duty of fidelity, where employees must act in the best interest of their employer, and the duty to provide a safe working environment.
  2. Duties of Employers and Employees: Both parties have specific responsibilities. Employers must treat employees fairly and provide reasonable notice of termination. Employees, in turn, must perform their job duties with diligence and integrity.
  3. Wrongful Dismissal: This concept refers to terminating an employee’s contract without reasonable notice or cause. Courts have developed extensive case law on what constitutes wrongful dismissal, ensuring employees are protected from arbitrary termination.
  4. Common Law vs. Statutory Law

While statutory law comprises written laws passed by legislative bodies, common law is created by judicial decisions. Both types of law coexist and often complement each other in employment.


Statutory law provides specific regulations, such as minimum wage standards and health and safety requirements. Conversely, common law fills in the gaps, addressing areas not explicitly covered by statutes. It offers flexibility, allowing courts to adapt to new situations and interpret laws based on context.

Complementary Nature

Common and statutory laws work together to protect employers and employees comprehensively. For instance, while statutory law mandates minimum notice periods for termination, common law can extend these periods based on the circumstances of each case, offering a more tailored approach.

Key Areas Governed by Common Law

Employment Contracts

Common law significantly impacts the formation and enforcement of employment contracts. It ensures that contracts are fair and that both parties fulfill their obligations. Courts can intervene when disputes arise, interpreting contract terms and enforcing implied duties.

Employee Rights

Common law safeguards various employee rights, such as the right to fair treatment and reasonable notice before termination. These protections ensure that employees are not subjected to unfair practices and have recourse if their rights are violated.

Employer Obligations

Everyday law obligations also bind employers. They must provide a safe working environment, act in good faith, and deal fairly with employees. Failure to meet these obligations can result in legal consequences, emphasizing the importance of adhering to common law principles.

Advantages of Understanding Common Law of Employment

Legal Protection

A thorough understanding of common law can protect employers and employees from legal disputes. Knowledge of these principles helps recognize potential issues early and take appropriate action to avoid litigation.

Better Decision-Making

Employers and employees who understand common law are better equipped to make informed decisions regarding hiring, termination, and workplace policies. This knowledge fosters a fair and harmonious work environment.

Conflict Resolution

Common law principles provide a framework for resolving conflicts efficiently. Whether it’s a dispute over contract terms or allegations of wrongful dismissal, common law offers mechanisms for fair resolution, reducing the need for protracted legal battles.

Importance of Professional Help


The common law of employment is complex and constantly evolving. Navigating this landscape requires expertise and a deep understanding of legal precedents. Attempting to handle employment issues without professional help can lead to costly mistakes.


Legal professionals bring invaluable expertise to the table. They stay updated on the latest developments in common law and can provide accurate advice tailored to specific situations. Their guidance ensures compliance with legal standards and minimizes risks.

Tailored Advice

Every employment situation is unique. Professionals offer personalized advice that considers each case’s specific circumstances. This tailored approach ensures employers and employees receive the most relevant and practical solutions.

Advantages of Choosing Rogers & Company Professional Corporation


Rogers & Company Professional Corporation has extensive experience in employment law. Our team has successfully handled numerous cases, providing clients with reliable and effective legal solutions.

Expert Team

Our legal team comprises experts in employment law. We deeply understand common law principles and their application in various contexts. Our expertise allows us to navigate complex legal issues with confidence and precision.

Personalized Service

At Rogers & Company, we believe in providing personalized service to each client. We take the time to understand your specific needs and concerns, offering tailored advice that addresses your unique situation. Our commitment to individualized attention sets us apart.

Successful Outcomes

Our track record speaks for itself. We have achieved successful outcomes for countless clients, helping them easily navigate the complexities of employment law. Our dedication to excellence ensures that you receive the best possible representation.

Contact Rogers & Company Professional Corporation Today

If you need assistance with any aspect of employment law, Rogers & Company Professional Corporation is here to help. Contact us today for a consultation, and let our experienced team guide you through the intricacies of common law. We are committed to finding the right fit for your employment law needs and providing you with the professional support you deserve.


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