If you do not give an employee a written statement of particulars of employment you face two risks.
The first is that you will be in breach of Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 if a statement is not given within 2 months of the commencement of employment. If in breach you may be liable for a claim of up to 4 weeks wages. The second risk is that it is possible that the employee could argue more favourable terms apply than you intended or agreed. In the absence of a written statement you may find it difficult to prove otherwise. Often all of these elements are included in a written contract of employment; if that is the case you don’t need a separate statement of particulars. Here is a list of what a statement must contain:
the names of the employer and employee,
the date when the employment began, and
the date on which the employee’s period of continuous employment began (taking into account any employment with a previous employer which counts towards that period).
the scale or rate of remuneration or the method of calculating remuneration,
the intervals at which remuneration is paid (that is, weekly, monthly or other specified intervals),
any terms and conditions relating to hours of work (including any terms and conditions relating to normal working hours),
any terms and conditions relating to any of the following –
entitlement to holidays, including public holidays, and holiday pay (the particulars given being sufficient to enable the employee’s entitlement, including any entitlement to accrued holiday pay on the termination of employment, to be precisely calculated),
incapacity for work due to sickness or injury, including any provision for sick pay, and
pensions and pension schemes
the length of notice which the employee is obliged to give and entitled to receive to terminate his contract of employment,
the title of the job which the employee is employed to do or a brief description of the work for which he is employed,
where the employment is not intended to be permanent, the period for which it is expected to continue or, if it is for a fixed term, the date when it is to end,
either the place of work or, where the employee is required or permitted to work at various places, an indication of that and of the address of the employer,
any collective agreements which directly affect the terms and conditions of the employment including, where the employer is not a party, the persons by whom they were made, and
where the employee is required to work outside the United Kingdom for a period of more than one month –
the period for which he is to work outside the United Kingdom,
the currency in which remuneration is to be paid while he is working outside the United Kingdom,
any additional remuneration payable to him, and any benefits to be provided to or in respect of him, by reason of his being required to work outside the United Kingdom, and
any terms and conditions relating to his return to the United Kingdom.
The statement must contain a note regarding disciplinary and grievance matters (see Section 3 of the Act)
Jonathan Waters is the founder of Helix Law. Before qualifying as a Solicitor he worked in industry and in investment banking for over a decade. He was also the Partner in charge of Commercial Litigation, Employment Law and Property Litigation at Stephen Rimmer LLP. Jonathan has wide experience of helping and advising businesses to avoid or to deal with commercial disputes and in particular construction disputes.
This article is written to raise awareness of the issues it discusses and it may not be updated after it is first written, even if the law changes. It is not intended to be legal advice and cannot be relied on as such. Helix Law is not responsible or liable for any action taken or not taken as a result of this article. If you think the matters set out affect you and you wish to apply them to your particular circumstances then we are happy to give you free initial telephone advice.