From 6th April 2020, employment contracts are changing. Are you ready?

In brief:
  • New starters must have their written employment details on or before their start date
  • The new rules have been extended to all new workers, not just employees
  • Additional information is now required

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.

With effect from 6 April 2020:

A written statement of employment particulars must be provided to new workers, as well as new employees 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.

What additional information is now required?
  • The days of the week to be worked and how any variation is to be determined
  • Any paid leave, other than sick pay – e.g. maternity and paternity leave
  • Any mandatory training provided by the employer
  • Any mandatory training which the employee must pay for
  • All benefits provided by the employer (this may be challenging if you offer a wide range of benefits which are detailed elsewhere in employment documentation. The wording needs to be carefully drafted to avoid any suggestion that non-contractual benefits are contractual)
  • Details of any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration
What’s excluded from the immediate requirement?
  • Pensions and pension schemes
  • Details of any training provided by the employer
  • A note providing further information about disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • Details of any collective agreements

In practice, it makes sense that the information above is incorporated within any section 1 statement. However, it can be provided in a single supplementary statement within two months of work commencing.

Do the new rules affect existing employees?

Anyone whose employment started between 30 November 1993 and 6 April 2020, will have the right to request a section 1 statement that complies with the new rules. If such a request is made, a compliant statement must be provided within one month.

Have the penalties for non-compliance changed?

No. As is the case currently, there will be no standalone claim for a failure to provide a statement of employment particulars (or for providing incomplete information). Compensation will only be payable if a successful claim, such as unfair dismissal or discrimination, is brought. This will be between two and four weeks’ pay with a ‘week’s pay’ capped at the statutory maximum.

What do I need to do now?

Start to prepare by:

  1. Auditing your workforce to identify which roles will be in scope after 6th April 2020
  2. Checking that your standard employment contracts incorporate all the additional information required (amending as appropriate)
  3. Ensuring you issue employment contracts on or before a worker’s/employee’s start date

If you have any questions or require help implementing any of the changes outlined above, please call Jo: 07718 326296

Recent Insights

Previous Post
Redefining what it means to be a ‘leader’ in the 21st Century
Next Post