Important changes to employers’ obligation to provide written statement of particulars
So what is changing?
- From April 6 2020, workers as well as employees, will be entitled to a statement of written particulars of employment.
- Employers engaging staff on or after 6 April with need to provide a written statement on or before their start date. It can currently be provided within one month of a start date.
- Written statements will need to include more information, including days of the week they are required to work; whether the working hours may be variable and how any variation will be determined; any paid leave and other benefits to which the worker or employee is entitled; any probationary period and any training entitlement. There is no need to provide the additional information to existing employees unless the employee requests a written statement on or after 6 April 2020.
What if you don’t comply?
Employees and workers will not be able to bring a freestanding claim for a failure to provide a written statement, but if an employee or worker brings a separate, successful claim in the employment tribunal, and they are able to show that they were not provided with a compliant written statement issued on or before their start date, they may be awarded an additional two to four weeks’ pay (subject to a statutory cap, which is currently £525 and is due to increase slightly on 6 April).
Although the costs of breaching the requirement are relatively small, the total potential costs could be significant if a large workforce all bought claims as part of some other litigation. That said, it is important for employers to take time and care when updating template agreements in line with these new obligations.as the potential implications of accidentally converting a non-contractual benefit into a contractual benefit could be much more significant.
What should you do to prepare?
- Carry out a review of the employment status of individuals who you are planning to engage in order to establish whether they are a worker and therefore will require a written statement of particulars on or before their start date.
- Review your current template contracts of employment and service contracts in order to establish changes that will need to be made before 6 April.
- Amend template agreements in order to include the additional information.
- Amend or prepare a written statement of particulars for any workers.
For information or an advice on the above or to discuss our fixed fee packages which are available to help you ensure you are compliant with the new legislation please contact Abigail Halcarz or another member of the employment team.