WRITTEN STATEMENT: An employment contract, and written particulars, are two different – but linked – items.
For instance, after attending a job interview you get offered the role. Once you accept that job you have entered into a ‘contract’ with that employer – even if not in writing.
There will have been many things discussed at the interview. But, not all the particulars relating to the employment.
Having started employment, your employer must give you a written notice. It will include the terms and conditions (particulars) of your employment.
You may, or may not, have discussed these terms at the job interview. But, a written statement of employment conditions set out the details of your employment. Thus, it must include some essential information. Employees must receive the statement within two (2) months of starting work.
What if you need to work abroad during the first two months or for more than a month? In this case, you should get the written statement before you leave for the overseas post or work.
A ‘written statement of employment terms and conditions is a substantial document. It is one you should keep in a safe place in case you ever need to produce it.
The ‘principal document’ must include the name of the business, your name, and the date you started work. But, in some cases you may need to refer to the extra details if you have any workplace disputes.
Contents of Written Statement of Employment Particulars
A written statement may have more than one document attached. But, the ‘principal document’ must include:
- The name of the business or organisation (employer).
- The name of the employee, the job title (or description) and the start date of employment.
- The date the period started if a previous job counts towards a period of continuous employment.
- How much the remuneration will be (wages) and how and when it will get received.
- The set hours of work outlining if an employee must work on Sundays, nights, or overtime.
- The holiday entitlement (and whether that includes public holidays).
- The location where an employee will work and whether they may need to move for employer relocation.
- If an employee works in other or different places, where they will be and what the employer’s address is.
Besides the principal statement, a written statement of employment particulars must also contain information explaining:
- How long a temporary job is expected to last.
- The end date of a fixed-term employee contract.
- Notice periods in the case of employment ceasing.
- Collective agreements entered into with a trade union.
- Details on occupational pensions (what type and what is expected of the employee and the employer).
- Who to contact if there is a work problem or grievance.
- How to complain about the way a grievance got handled.
- How to complain about a disciplinary or a dismissal decision.
The written statement of employment terms and conditions does not have to include:
- Disciplinary and dismissal procedures
- Grievance procedures
- Sick pay and procedures
Note: But it must state where to find information on these topics. There is an interactive template available for a written statement of employment particulars. A written statement in Northern Ireland must explain disciplinary rules and procedures.
The Written Statement and Working Abroad
Where an employee must work overseas for more than one (1) month, the employer must state:
- The length of time they must work abroad.
- What currency they will get paid in.
- What additional pay or benefits they will receive.
- Terms relating to their return to the United Kingdom.
Note: This particular information can be a separate document and given to the employee.
It is not uncommon for an employer to send their employee to another country in the European Economic Area (EEA). If so, employees must get the terms and conditions that are the legal minimum in that country for:
Problem and Issues with a Written Statement
There are several options open to an employee with a problem on receiving their written statement. Thus, they could choose to:
- Try to resolve the issue with their employer using ‘informal’ means.
- The next step would be to take out a grievance against the employer.
- The final step would be to take the case to an employment tribunal (industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland).
Note: A tribunal would decide what the written statement employment particulars should have been.
Winning a case about another issue (e.g. unfair dismissal) means the employee may get a compensation award. As a rule, this happens if there was a problem with the written statement as well.
Note: The awarded compensation would be between two (2) and four (4) weeks of pay. But, the tribunal sets a limit for awards of weekly pay.
Changes to Written Particulars of Employment
The new requirements for Statements of Particulars of Employment (i.e. amendments to Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996) take full effect from the 6th of April 2020. As a result, reforms that now fall under the Good Work Plan, mean:
- Organisations have an obligation to provide written particulars to anyone in ‘worker status‘, as well as any employees.
- There is no minimum service requirement for the entitlement to receive written particulars. Thus, the one-month qualifying period is abolished and it now becomes a ‘day one right’.
- There is a new requirement for the written statement to contain additional information relating to:
- Which days of the week the organisation requires the employee (or worker) to work.
- Whether the hours of work are variable or not (including how the employer determines the variation).
- The entitlement to any other types of paid leave (e.g. maternity or paternity leave).
- Whether there will be any additional remuneration or benefits available (including probationary periods where relevant).
- Whether the workers needs to complete any required training (or any other training not paid for by the organisation).
- As a rule, the organisation must provide the information in a single document and no later than the worker’s first day of work.
Note: Beginning the 6th of April 2020, existing employees can ask for a written statement that complies with the new requirements. If so, you should provide it to them within one (1) month of the request.