Changes to Worker and Employee Contracts – 6 April 2020

From 6 April 2020 there will be a right to a basic written contract written as a section one statement that applies to workers and employees alike.  This is in accordance with the Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Employed Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.  Up to this point employees have the right to receive written terms and conditions within eight weeks of starting employment and workers may not have received any employment documentation at all.

The right to a basic written contract takes effect from day one of employment so ideally should be issued before employment starts.  Genuine self employed contractors are not included.  Agency workers will receive their documentation from the employment business that is contracting them to work with a third party employer.   

A basic written contract as a section one statement should include the following as a minimum:

  • The names of the employer and employee
  • The date the employment starts and period of continuous employment
  • Details regarding probation period – duration and conditions
  • Pay (or method of calculating it) and interval of payment
  • Details of any additional remuneration eg bonus, commission
  • Hours of work (including if fixed or variable; if varied how)
  • Days of the week required to work (including if fixed or variable; if varied how)
  • Holiday entitlement and pay
  • The employee’s job title or a brief description of the work
  • Notice periods
  • Place of work
  • Details on sick pay and leave
  • Entitlement to additional pay ie maternity pay, paternity pay
  • Details regarding training entitlement including if mandatory and if the worker/employee must pay for this

The law provides that the issuing of certain other additional terms may be given within two months of beginning employment.  This may be in the form of a supplementary statement sent to the worker or employee.  In the alternative they may be signposted as to where they can find this documentation eg on an intranet or via a request to HR. This includes information on:

  • Pension and pension schemes
  • Collective agreements
  • Information on grievance and disciplinary procedures

However, it might be good practice to share that information via the issuing of just one document. 

With this new legislation holiday pay for workers will be referenced via 52 week period rather than the current 12 week period.

If any of the information changes the employer must notify the worker/employee within one month. Revised contracts/statements do not need to be provided to the worker/employee automatically.  However, if one is requested this must be provided within one month of the request.

Employers should review their existing processes to ensure they comply with the law.