Written Statements, contracts, and changing terms in your contract

All Employees are legally entitled to a Written Statement, which they must receive within two months of starting the job.  Please read our new post about Written Statements here as there have been changes in 2019 and will be changes in 2020.

This statement is a summary in writing of your main terms and conditions of employment. It is not itself a contract of employment but is evidence of the contract of employment.

Here we look at what is a contract of employment, what it should include, changing terms in a contract, short-time working and lay-off’s, and freelance contracs/agreements.

What is a contract of employment?

It is a legally binding agreement between an employer and employee, which is formed when you agree to work for an employer in return for pay. It may be made orally, but should be in writing to avoid dispute. Your contract contains your rights and duties, and the rights and duties of your employer – called the ‘terms’ of the contract. Some of the main particulars of employment must be put in writing, i.e. in a written statement.

If you are not provided with a Written Statement after 2 months then our advice would be to firstly talk to your Manager(s) or your Trade Union if you are a member. If this is not successful then your only recourse is to lodge a claim with an Employment Tribunal that you have not received your Written Statement (this is called making a ‘reference’ under the Written Statement Requirements). The tribunal would decide what employment particulars you should have been given and these will take effect, as if your employer had given them to you. There is no financial compensation for employees in this instance at Tribunal.

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