Currently, an Employer is required to give an employee a Written Statement of their key terms and conditions within the first 2 months of their employment (if they are engaged for a month or more).
This is a legal requirement under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (section 1), and if an Employer does not provide this in time then an employee has an ‘automatic’ right to make an unfair dismissal claim (if they are dismissed, i.e. they do not need 2 years service to make an unfair dismissal claim).
However, these timescales are changing on 6th April 2020 and from that date ALL employees AND workers will need to receive this Statement before they start work, or at the latest, on their first day of work. You can read more details about the new requirements here.
This Written Statement can be provided in more than one document, and can be set out in a job offer letter or their contract of employment.
The Written Statement must contain various elements including:
- The name and the address of the employer
- The date their employment and continuous employment began
- Their job title and job description
- Their job location
- Their pay details
- Their working hours
- Their holiday entitlements and rest breaks (under the Working Time Directive Legislation)
- Their sick pay entitlement and notification time-scales
- Details of any pension scheme which you operate
- The notice periods they need to give to end their employment if they want to resign and the notice period you need to give you to end their employment.
- Your disciplinary rules and procedures, appeal rules, grievance procedures and details of any collective agreements you have with Trade Unions that directly affect their conditions of employment.
In January 2019, in Miss Stefanko and others v Maritime Hotel Ltd, there were 3 claimants who were all employed for short periods during 2016 as waiting staff for the hotel in Dorset. On 7th July 2016 all three were dismissed when they objected to ‘persistent shortfalls in their waves, late payment and a falsification of their wage slips’. Their claims for automatic unfair dismissal were successful as they did not receive a Section 1 Statement at any time during their employment. However the original Employment Tribunal, only awarded compensation for automatic unfair dismissal, of 4 weeks pay, to the 2 claimants who had worked for over 2 months at the hotel. The Tribunal found that the remaining claimant, because she had only worked 6 weeks (and not 2 months), was not entitled to compensation. She appealed this and the Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed with her, because the ERA 1996 says that the right to a statement exists even if a person’s employment ends before the two months are up (so she received compensation). This may of course be appealed by the hotel!