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Statements of Employment Particulars - What Are Employers' Obligations?

on Friday, 11 January 2019.

In a recent case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) confirmed that employees are entitled to receive a statement of their employment particulars once they have been employed for one month, even if their employment does not last longer than two months.

From April 2020, employees will be entitled to receive this from day one.

Section 1 Statements

Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) requires employers to provide employees employed for longer than one month with a written statement of prescribed employment particulars. This is commonly referred to as a "Section 1 Statement".

When Must This Be Provided to Employees?

The statement may be given in instalments but must be given no later than two months after the beginning of the employment. At the moment, employers do not have to provide the statement to employees who are employed for less than a month.

However, from 6th April 2020, when new regulations come into force, every new employee will have the right to receive Section 1 Statement from their first day of employment.

Failure to Provide a Section 1 Statement

Failure to provide a sufficient statement is not a standalone claim. However, where an employee brings a successful substantive claim at the Employment Tribunal, if an employer is also found to be in breach of the duty to provide a Section 1 Statement, the employee may be eligible for an award ranging from a minimum of two weeks' pay up to four weeks' pay (if this is considered just and equitable in all the circumstances).

Stefanko and Others v Maritime Hotel Ltd

In this recent case, the EAT overturned the findings of an Employment Tribunal which had held that one of the Claimants, Ms Woronowicz, was not entitled to an award for a failure to provide a Section 1 Statement as she did not have two months' continuous employment. The EAT, on appeal, confirmed that the right to a Section 1 Statement exists for employees with one month's or more service, whether or not the employment relationship is ended in its second month. Ms Woronowicz was therefore entitled to an award.

Best Practice

In the Stefanko and Others v Maritime Hotel Ltd case, the EAT noted that it is best practice for written particulars of employment to be provided as soon as possible to protect both parties and minimise the risk of ambiguity or misunderstanding of the terms of the employment relationship.

Although not all of the information required by s1 ERA needs to be given in one single document, in most cases this is likely to be the most efficient way to ensure that the requirements are met.

In readiness for 2020 and to avoid accidental omissions, we recommend that where possible employers provide staff with the required information in advance of their first day of employment.

For more information, please contact Eleanor Boyd in our Employment team on 020 7665 0940.