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Under section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees are entitled to be given a written statement of their particulars of employment no later than two months from the start date of their employment. Section 1 statements are generally provided to employees in the form of a contract of employment.

From 06 April 2020, under The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, employers will have to provide employees with an employment contract on or before their first day of employment.

The amendment was introduced in response to the Taylor Review in 2017 to improve the rights and quality of life for individuals, particularly those who are employed under casual or zero-hours contracts.

The prescribed information that must be set out within the employment contract will also change.

What information needs to be included?

From 06 April 2020, you will need to include the following information in the contract of employment from ‘day one’:

  1. Names of employer and employee or worker;
  2. Job title;
  3. The date the employment starts and period of continuous employment;
  4. Rate of pay and intervals of payment;
  5. Hours of work, including:
    • Days of the week to be worked; and
    • Whether the hours of work are variable (if so, provide details).
  6. Holiday entitlement and pay;
  7. Details of other paid leave, such as maternity leave;
  8. Employee benefits, including details of all remuneration;
  9. Probationary period, including the conditions and duration;
  10. Notice requirements;
  11. If the contract is fixed-term, the date the contract will end, or how long employment is likely to last;
  12. Place of work;
  13. Details of mandatory training, plus any training the employer will not pay for; and
  14. Where the employee is required to work outside of the UK for more than one month, you will need to state:
    • The period;
    • The currency in which they will be paid;
    • Any additional remuneration or benefits that they are entitled to; and
    • The terms and conditions relating to their return to work.

What information will no longer be required?

You will no longer need to include the following information in the contract of employment from ‘day one’:

  1. Details of pensions and pension schemes;
  2. Collective agreement details;
  3. Any terms and conditions relating to incapacity, including any sick pay provision;
  4. Training entitlement required by the employer;
  5. Non-compulsory training; and
  6. Any disciplinary rules and procedures:
    • Who to appeal to if dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision; and
    • Who to raise a grievance with.

It is, however, important to note that you must still include the items above in a reasonably accessible document, which must be referred to in the contract of employment itself and must be given to an employee no later than two months after the start of employment.

You are not required to update contracts of employment for those who started before April 2020. Although, anyone who requests a section 1 statement, and did not receive the above information in their original contract before 06 April 2020, can ask for the information to be provided within a month during employment, and within three months after their employment ends.

Next steps

We recommend that you:

  • Update your template written statements/contracts for new employees;
  • Create written statements for all workers;
  • Ensure requests for a written statement can be recognised and the timescales for compliance noted;
  • Check procedures for dealing with the changes to the written statement;
  • Look at existing days, hours and other variations;
  • Check provisions for other paid leave; and
  • Review training requirements for employees and workers.
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