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What should a basic job contract and job description contain and are they mandatory? I am a practice nurse employed by a single-handed GP

This is a very good question and one I often get asked by colleagues working in smaller health service settings. To give you a complete answer from a legal perspective would take far too long, but I can briefly outline a general answer which many readers may be surprised with:

There is no actual requirement for a UK employer to provide a contract of employment or a job description.

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