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Are You Ready for Employment Contract Changes?

on Friday, 24 January 2020.

Employment contracts for new starters are changing on 6 April 2020 - but what are the changes?

It is widely known that certain terms and conditions need to be provided to employees at the beginning of their employment. This information is found in section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, commonly known as a 'section 1 statement'.

It must currently be provided within the first two months of employment and can usually be found within an offer letter or a contract of employment.

This position is changing from 6 April 2020 for all new starters (or existing staff who request an updated section 1 statement).

The Key Changes

  • The majority of the information required in a section 1 statement will need to be provided before, or on the day employment commences - it will become a day one right.

  • The right to a section 1 statement as a day one right is extended to workers, not just employees.

  • The following additional information will need to be provided:

- Any terms and conditions relating to the days of the week the employee / worker is required to work.

- Whether or not such hours or days may be variable and if they are how they vary or how that variation is to be determined.

- Any terms and conditions relating to any 'other' paid leave, ie paid leave which is not related to holidays or sickness, such as maternity or paternity leave.

- Any 'other' benefits provided to the employee/worker, ie benefits provided in addition to remuneration and any paid leave.

- Details of any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration.

- Details of any training provided by the employer - this includes details of any training which is required and any training that is both required and which the employer will not bear the cost.

  • The majority of the information required in a section 1 statement will now need to be provided in one single document.

  • The following can still be provided in a reasonably accessible document, but must still be referred to in the section 1 statement:

- terms relating to incapacity and sick pay

- information about disciplinary/grievance (other than specific information required in the section 1 statement)

- terms as to pension and pensions schemes

- particulars of any training provided by the employer

- particulars of other paid leave

  • Some limited information can also still be given in instalments up to two months after the start date, including:

- pensions

- details of any collective agreements

- details of training provided by employer

- disciplinary and grievance info (other than prescribed details)

It remains the case that where there are no particulars to be entered under one of the required heads that fact shall be stated.

Best Practice

Now is the time to review and consider your employment documentation in preparation for 6 April 2020 to ensure the essential information is included, and ensure that processes are in place to provide the required information to workers.

Workers do not benefit from the same employment entitlements as those who are employed, so careful drafting will be required to ensure that the worker section 1 statement does not point towards them being an employee.

For employees or workers with flexible working patterns, a view will need to be taken about how to record this in a way which complies with the new requirements.

We are currently providing advice on these issues to our clients and would welcome a call from you to discuss.

For tailored advice on changing employment law contracts, please contact Michael Halsey in our Employment team on 020 7665 0842, or complete the form below.

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