Verbal Agreement in Employment Law


Verbal agreements are often made in employment situations. Though they are not as formal as written agreements, they still bear legal weight. Verbal agreements are often made in good faith, but it is important to understand the legal implications of such agreements.

What is a Verbal Agreement in Employment Law?

A verbal agreement in employment law is a contract between an employer and an employee that is made verbally. In other words, it is an agreement made through spoken words and not in writing. These agreements are also known as “oral agreements” or “handshake agreements.”

It is essential to remember that verbal agreements, like written agreements, are legally binding. Once a verbal agreement has been made, it is enforceable in a court of law. Therefore, it is important for both employee and employer to be aware of the terms of the agreement.

When are Verbal Agreements Used?

Verbal agreements are often used in informal settings, such as job interviews, promotions, and salary negotiations. They can also be used when an employer and employee have a long-standing relationship built on trust.

However, it is important to note that verbal agreements are not ideal in all employment situations. In some cases, written agreements may be necessary to ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of their obligations and expectations.

What are the Risks of Verbal Agreements?

Verbal agreements can pose risks for both the employer and the employee. Without a written document, it can be difficult to prove what was agreed upon. Additionally, memories can fade over time, and misunderstandings can arise.

If a dispute arises, it can be challenging to enforce a verbal agreement in court because there is no written evidence of the agreement. In some cases, it may be difficult to prove that the agreement even occurred.


Verbal agreements in employment law are a common practice, but they do come with risks. If you choose to enter into a verbal agreement, it is crucial to be aware of the legal implications and ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of the agreement’s terms. Whenever possible, it is best to have a written agreement in place to avoid any potential misunderstandings or disputes.

By Zhang Ling