April tends to be a busy time in the year where employers are usually required to implement or modify something in line with any new legislation. But 2020 is expected to be more hectic than normal with a large number of new regulations being in place.
One of these will apply to the written statement of employment particulars and therefore, affecting all employment contracts after 6 April 2020. Keep reading to be aware of the changes to be implemented and how to prepare.
What is the current position?
The written statement of terms and conditions of employment is the principal document that gives evidence of the contractual agreement between an employer and an employee.
Under section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, a written statement of employment particulars must be provided to employees (not workers) within two months of the start of their employment. Employees must have at least one month’s service in order to enforce this right.
Written statement of employment particulars: what’s changing?
As a result of its commitments set out in the Good Work Plan, the government will be extending the entitlement to a statement of ‘written particulars’ to include workers as well as employees.
The qualifying period of employment and the ‘grace period’ of two months from the start of employment will be abolished. This means that all workers and employees will have the right to receive the majority of their employment particulars from day one of their engagement, no matter how long they will be working for an organisation.
In addition to the information which must be set out in employment particulars at present, the following information must be provided.
- The days of the week the individual is required to work and how any variation is to be determined.
- Details of eligibility for sick leave and pay.
- Any training entitlement provided by the employer, any part of that training entitlement which the employer requires the worker to complete, and any other training which the employer requires the worker to complete and which the employer will not bear the cost.
- Details of any other benefits provided by the employer that have not been set out elsewhere in the statement.
- Details of any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration.
Penalties for non-compliance
As currently, there will be no standalone claim for a failure to provide a written statement of employment particulars, or for providing incomplete information.
Compensation will only be payable if a claimant brings a successful substantive claim (such as unfair dismissal or discrimination). Compensation is between two and four weeks’ pay, and a ‘week’s pay’ is capped at the statutory maximum (currently £525 per week).
How to prepare?
- The first step will be to undertake an audit of your workforce and identify which roles will be in scope for the new style of employment particulars after 6 April 2020.
- Check that your contracts incorporate all of the additional required information and amend it as appropriate.
- Also, consider putting in place procedures as part of the recruitment process to ensure documentation is issued on or before the first day of work.
- Ensure that details of any non-contractual benefits are carefully drafted to avoid any suggestion that the benefits are contractual.
If you need legal advice or need a hand with your contracts, you can speak to one of our legal team by booking a free, no strings attached call with one of our legal specialists here.