Changes to section 1 statements – 6 April 2020 | Employment Law
Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 sets out certain rules about the information that must be given to employees when they start work. In practice, most well written contracts of employment would also contain the information required.
As part of the Government’s ‘Good Work plan’ the government plans to change the scope of ‘section 1 statements’ in relation to any employee or worker starting work on or after 6 April 2020. The reasons given by the Government for these changes are, amongst other points, that they want both employers and workers to have clarity on the employment relationship. It seems that the government’s intention is to improve workers’ understanding of their rights through the production of a written statement.
What are the changes?
In short the changes are as follows:
- There is now an obligation to provide a written statement of particulars to workers, as well as employees.
- It used to be the case that this could be given up to two months after the employee started, now, however, most written particulars must be given, in a single document, on or before the date on which the employment starts. There are exceptions in relation to pensions, collective agreements, any training entitlement provided by the employer and certain information about disciplinary and grievance procedures but these must be given no later than two months after the beginning of employment.
- There will no longer be any minimum service requirement in order to be eligible to receive a written statement of particulars.
- Only particulars relating to incapacity and sick pay, paid leave, pensions and any non-compulsory training entitlement which the employee does not have to pay for, may be contained in another reasonably accessible document, provided this is referred to in the principal statement itself.
- Now the following additional information needs to be given in the principal statement:
- the days of the week the worker is required to work, whether the days and working hours may be variable and how any variation will be determined;
- any paid leave to which the worker is entitled;
- details of any other benefits provided by the employer that are not already included in the statement.
- any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration; and
- any training entitlement provided by the employer, including whether any training is mandatory and/or must be paid for by the worker.
The particulars below must now also be given in the principal statement rather than a supplementary statement:
- notice periods for the termination of employment by either side.
- terms as to the length of temporary or fixed term work.
- terms related to work outside the UK for a period of more than one month.
What should I do next?
- Ensure that any section 1 statements or contracts of employment that you give to those beginning work on or after 6 April 2020 are compliant with the new provisions. You may need to consider taking legal advice to ensue that these documents are redrafted and updated accordingly.
- Be aware that the transitional provisions below will apply to employees whose employment commenced on or after 30 November 1993 and before 6 April 2020.
- If an employee or worker requests a section statement, on or after 6 April 2020, the employer must provide a compliant section 1 statement within one month of the request.
- If there is a change in any of the particulars, on or after 6 April 2020 the employer must notify the employee of the change.
If you need any advice or assistance in relation to the above changes then please contact Emma Monk, Associate Solicitor at Thursfields Solicitors on 0121 227 3850 or email email@example.com.