The right to a written statement of terms
At present, when an employee starts a job, their employer must give them a written statement of terms (legally known - and henceforth referred to - as a written statement of particulars).
This isn’t an employment contract, but it will include the main conditions of employment.
Currently, the employer must provide the written statement within two months of the start of employment but after 6th April 2020, they will have to do this from the first day of employment under the Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.
What must be in the written statement?
The written particulars statement is also known as a Section 1 statement and the information required can currently be supplied at different times and in different documents over the two-month period following the start of employment.
However, there is certain information that must be given to the new employee in one single document, known as the principal statement. This information will include:
the names of the employer and employee;
their job title or a description of work they will be doing
their start date;
whether their previous job counts towards a period of continuous employment, and if so, the date that this period is deemed to have begun;
how often an employee will get paid and the amount they will receive;
the employee’s hours of work (and whether this will include Sundays, nights or overtime);
what holiday they are entitled to, and whether public holidays are included in that;
where they will be working and the possibility of relocation;
if they will be required to work in different places, the relevant locations and what the employer’s address is deemed to be.
The changes have introduced new requirements for the section 1 statement. These must be included in a single document, not given out separately. These additional particulars are:
the expected duration of employment, or – if a fixed-term contract applies – the date that it is expected to end;
terms that relate to the worker’s eligibility for sick leave/pay;
how long any probationary period will last, and the conditions that will apply to it;
the times that the worker is expected to work (working hours/days of the week) and any variations that may occur;
any training entitlement which the worker must complete as part of their job;
any entitlement to paid leave, including maternity leave and paternity leave;
any other remuneration or benefits that the employer provides.
Under the current (pre-6th April) regulations, the following particulars can be supplied in a supplementary document, but as of 6th April, they will have to be included in the principal statement:
The notice periods that either side must provide to terminate the employment agreement.
Information regarding sickness absence/pay.
Details of the duration of temporary or fixed-term work.
Information related to any work that the worker will undertake outside the UK if that work lasts for longer than a month.
What should employers do?
As they will be required to provide the written statement of particulars on the first day of employment, employers should take a look at the contracts they use and revise the recruitment procedures to make sure that they are fully compliant by 6th April. Existing employees may well ask for a new-style statement after that date, so preparations need to be made for any such request.
It is also worth noting that the new rights apply to both workers and employees, so employers will need to look at the employee/worker status of all staff.
If, after reading this article, you feel you need to review your employment contracts or need advice on preparing for the changes on 6th April, why not talk to our rradarstation advisors? rradarstation is a resource available through the AXA MLP where policyholders can access rradar’s legal advisory team over the phone or by email and web gateway that provides over 2,000 articles, step-by-step guidance sheets, forms, sample letters and templates to download relating to running your business/organisation.