If an employee is going to be employed for more than one month they are entitled to a written statement of certain terms of their employment. This is commonly known as a Section 1 Statement as the requirements are contained in Section 1 of The Employment Rights Act 1996 and the requirements can be incorporated into a Contract of Employment.
The Statement or Contract must be given to employees no later than two months after their employment begins. From 6 April 2020, the majority of particulars will need to be given in a single statement before the job begins.
Even if the employment terminates before the end of the two-month period, the employer must still give the written statement.
The following information is required to be given:
- The names of the employer and employee.
- The date the employment starts and the date the employee’s period of continuous employment began. (Although, from 6 April 2020, the date of commencement of continuous employment only needs to be given to an employee, not a worker.)
- Pay (or method of calculating it) and interval of payment.
- Hours of work, including normal working hours.
- Holiday entitlement and holiday pay.
- The employee’s job title or a brief description of the work.
- Place of work.
- A person to whom the employee can appeal if they are dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision relating to them or any decision to dismiss them.
- A person to whom the employee can apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to the employment and the manner in which any such application should be made.
What is changing?
In its Good Work Plan, published in December 2018, the government announced several changes to the scope of Section 1 Statements in relation to any person starting work on or after 6 April 2020.
The foreword to the Good Work Plan states that the intention is to ensure that workers can access fair and decent work, that both employers and workers have clarity on the employment relationship, and that the enforcement system is fair and fit for purpose. Above all, the direction of travel is to protect vulnerable workers and improve workers’ understanding of their rights. One way of achieving these aims is to ensure that the content of the written statement is as useful as possible to the individual and the employer (page 31, Good Work Plan).
In summary, the changes are:
- The obligation on employers to provide a written statement of particulars will be extended to workers, as well as employees.
- The majority of written particulars must be provided in a single document on or before the date on which the employment starts.
- The statement will be required to contain the following additional particulars:
- the days of the week the worker is required to work, whether the working hours may be variable and how any variation will be determined;
- any paid leave to which the worker is entitled;
- details of any other benefits provided by the employer that are not already included in the statement;
- any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration; and
- any training entitlement provided by the employer, including whether any training is mandatory and/or must be paid for by the worker.
The changes to Section 1 Statements set out above will only apply to those starting work on or after 6 April 2020. The existing rules will continue to apply to other employees, unless the employee requests a Section 1 Statement in which case the employer must provide it within one month of the request.
What should you do now?
Ensure that Section 1 Statements and Contracts of Employment are up to date and incorporate the new requirements.