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Could your contracts of employment need updating post April 2020?

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As of 1 April 2020, employees and workers are entitled to be provided with a written statement of terms on or before day one of employment or engagement. This obligation is set out in section one of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and this section also sets out a number of requirements that such a statement must meet, including the provision of specific information.

As of 1 April 2020, the information which must be included in a written statement of terms includes, but is not limited to, information such as:

  • Terms and conditions relating to hours of work, including normal working hours, the days of the week the individual is required to work, whether hours/days may be variable (or the fact that they are not variable) and if they do vary, how that variation is to be determined;
  • Terms and conditions relating to any other paid leave;
  • Terms and conditions relating to any other benefits by the employer;
  • Details of any probationary period (or a statement that there is no such period);
  • Place of work, or if the individual is required/permitted to work at various places, an indication of that and the address of the employer;
  • Any training entitlement provided by the employer and whether any such training is compulsory and if so, who bears the cost of such training;
  • Reference to relevant disciplinary and grievance procedures and where copies of such procedures can be found; and
  • Details of how the individual can appeal a disciplinary or grievance decision.

Some of this information can be included in a separate, reasonably accessible document, and/or provided to the individual within two months of the commencement of the employment.

Failure to provide all of the information required under section 1 presents the risk of a claim against the employer by individual employees or workers for up to four weeks’ gross pay, however such a claim must be brought alongside another successful tribunal claim (i.e. it is not a standalone claim). Notwithstanding this, employers are best placed to ensure all contracts of employment are up to date and include all of the required information as comprehensive contracts of employment allow employers to effectively manage their workforce and can form the basis of a successful employment relationship as it sets out the rights and obligations on and owed to both parties.

Updating contracts of employment may not have been at the forefront of employers’ minds in April 2020 due to the Pandemic, however now may be an appropriate time for such a review. Our dedicated Employment Team is experienced in drafting contracts of employment for both senior and junior employees and Staff Handbooks which set out accompanying policies and procedures. If you would like our Employment Team to undertake a review of the contracts, policies and procedures your business currently has in place, please get in touch.

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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