Employment Contract Changes

Employment contract

We are finding that many businesses have been so busy with Covid that they have forgotten to update employment contracts in line with current legislation, often meaning that the contract is not valid.

In summary, the changes from 6 April 2020 were:

  1. The obligation on employers to provide a written statement of particulars is extended to workers, as well as employees. This is important. If your business has atypical workers/casual workers take note that this is a new right.
  2. The majority of written particulars must be provided in a single document on or before the date on which the employment starts.
  3. There are exceptions for the required particulars relating to pensions, collective agreements, any training entitlement provided by the employer and certain information about disciplinary and grievance procedures, and these must be given no later than two months after the beginning of employment.
  4. Only particulars relating to incapacity and sick pay, paid leave, pensions and any non-compulsory training entitlement which the employee does not have to pay for may be contained in another reasonably accessible document, which must be referred to in the principal statement itself.
  5. The statement will be required to contain the following additional particulars:
  6. The days of the week the worker is required to work, whether the days and working hours may be variable and how any variationwill be determined.
  7. any paid leaveto which the worker is entitled.
  8. Details of any other benefitsprovided by the employer that are not already included in the statement.
  9. Any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration; and
  10. Any training entitlementprovided by the employer, including whether any training is mandatory and/or must be paid for by the worker.

Transitional provisions

The changes to section 1 statements set out above will only apply to those starting work on or after 6 April 2020.

Particulars that must be given in a single document (the principal statement)

The following information is required to be given in the principal statement:

  1. The names of the employer and employee.
  2. The date the employment startsand the date the employee’s period of continuous employment began. (Although, for anyone starting work on or after 6 April 2020, the date of commencement of continuous employment only needs to be given to an employee, not a worker.)
  3. Pay(or method of calculating it) and interval of payment.
  4. Hours of work, including normal working hours.
  5. Holiday entitlement and holiday pay.
  6. The employee’s job title or a brief description of the work.
  7. Place of work.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

As above, for employees and workers beginning work on or after 6 April 2020, additional particulars must also be provided in the principal statement:

  • The days of the weekthe worker is required to work and whether working hours or days may be variable, with details of how they may vary.
  • Any other benefitsprovided by the employer.
  • Any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration.
  • Any training entitlementprovided by the employer, any part of that entitlement which the worker is required to complete and any other required training in respect of which the employer will not bear the cost.

Also, for those beginning work on or after 6 April 2020, the following particulars that may currently be provided in a supplementary statement must be given in the principal statement itself:

  • The notice periods for terminationby either side, subject to the specific provisions referred to below
  • Terms as to length of temporary or fixed-term work.
  • Terms related to work outside the UKfor a period of more than one month.

Particulars that may be given in another reasonably accessible document

The employer can choose whether to put the following information in the principal statement, in supplementary statements or in reasonably accessible documents that are referred to in the section 1 statement (or supplementary statement):

  • Terms relating to absence due to incapacity and sick pay.
  • The notice periods for termination by either side, subject to the specific provisions referred to below.
  • Information about disciplinary and grievance procedures (although certain information must be given in the principal statement in any case.
  • Terms as to pensions and pension schemes.

A reasonably accessible document could be, for example, a staff handbook, a notice on a staff notice board, or a collective agreement with a trade union. There is no case law on the meaning of “reasonably accessible” but it is likely to include documents that can be readily obtained on request from an HR department, or that are available on an intranet to which all employees have access.

From 6 April 2020, an employer can also choose whether to include the following information in a reasonably accessible document referred to in the principal statement:

  • Particulars of any training provided by the employer.
  • Particulars of any other paid leave (other than provisions relating to holiday and sick pay).

Particulars that may be given in a supplementary statement

The following information is usually given in the principal statement. However, until 5 April 2020 it can instead be given in “instalments” by way of supplementary statements, at different times to the principal statement, as long as all the information is given within two months of employment starting work:

  • Terms related to work outside the UK for a period of more than one month.
  • Terms as to length of temporary or fixed-term work.
  • A note giving certain information about disciplinary and grievance procedures (although certain information must be given in the principal statement in any case.
  • Details of any collective agreements directly affecting the employment.

From 6 April 2020, all the required particulars must be provided by the start date save for the following which may be given in instalments up to two months after the beginning of employment:

  • Terms as to pensions and pension schemes.
  • Details of any collective agreements directly affecting the employment.
  • Details of any training provided by the employer.
  • A note giving certain information about disciplinary and grievance procedures (although certain information must be given in the principal statement in any case.

From 6 April, you will no longer be able to use your current contracts of employment for new starters.

For more advice contact us today by calling 0333 888 0290 or email hello@bhayanirecruitment.co.uk

For HR, employment law and Health & Safety services for you or your business visit www.bhayanilaw.co.uk

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