Written Statement of Particulars
It’s often claimed, by both employers & employees, that an employee doesn’t have a contract of employment. This is always incorrect: when it’s relating to someone in employment, the moment an offer of work is made and accepted the contract is formed. For employees, what may not have been issued – although legally must be within two months – is a Written Statement of Employment Particulars, the basic employment terms that apply to the job. All employees should receive a Statement of Particulars, and this should be issued within two months of them commencing work, if not sooner.
The Principal Statement
The Statement of Particulars can be provided in instalments, and may refer to other documents that are readily available to employees, but there is a minimum that must be provided in one document, commonly referred to as the Principal Statement.
The Principal Statement must include:
- the legal name of the employer (it is good practice to include any trading name too);
- the name of the employee (it is good practice to include the address too, at least to ensure this information is held by the employer);
- the date employment commenced (including, where appropriate, the date continuous employment began);
- the rates of pay, how this is calculated, and the frequency of payments (weekly, monthly, or other specified intervals);
- any conditions relating to hours of work, including the normal hours of work and where this may vary;
- holiday entitlements, including public holidays & holiday pay (this information needs to be sufficiently detailed to allow calculations to be made on accrued entitlements);
- the job title, or brief description of the work ( it is good practice to give a clear description of work that employees could occasionally but regularly be required to complete, to ensure they cannot later suggest a task was not part of their duties and decline to complete this);
- the normal 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.
All of the above information must be provided in the form of one document; this could be a letter of appointment, with the details attached, or be provided in a single document shortly after the employment commences.
Other Details to be Included in the Written Statement of Particulars
Other details that need to be provided to an employee can be provided in more convenient ways – some details need to be directly provided to the employee, while other policies can simply be referred to (where these are easily accessible by the employee).
The further details that must be provided to all employees (in a note or other document, but not necessarily with the Principal Statement) are:
- details of the name or position of the person an employee should apply to in order to resolve a grievance, or if they are not happy with any disciplinary decision – including the form this should be presented in;
- length of the contract, or the date when it is to end, where this is not intended to be permanent;
- details of any collective agreements that directly affect the terms & conditions;
- details relating to employment to be worked outside the UK;
- whether a contracting-out certificate under the Pensions Schemes Act 1993 is in force for the employment.
Information That Can Be Included in Other Workplace Documents
And finally, details that need to be provided to the employee, but can simply advise the employee where the information is available (as long as the policies are readily & easily accessible to the employee – if a copy of these are not issued to each individual employee, they must be easy for employees to access):
- terms & conditions relating to sickness, including terms & conditions for sick pay;
- notice periods – the length of notice the parties should give to end the contract;
- terms relating to pensions;
- the companies disciplinary & grievance procedures (although details of who an employee should raise a grievance or appeal with must be provided in writing to the employee).
In any instance where there are no particulars – for example, if there is no pension scheme – the Written Statement must also specify this to be so.
The Statement of Particulars has to be provided to an employee even if the employment ends before the end of the period in which it was due – as necessary, this should be sent to the employee.
Where changes are made to any particulars, the employer must provide the employee with details of these changes within one month. This does not require the employer to produce a new Statement of Particulars in full: a document that states what changes are being made & the effective date of these changes will suffice, although it should be noted that changes cannot be made to a Contract of Employment (including the Statement of Particulars) without the prior consent of the employee.
Penalties for Not Complying with ERA 1996, s1
There are no formal penalites or fines for employers that don’t issue a Statement of Particulars. The prinicpal legislation – found at sections 1-4 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 – simply requires that employers issue the documents. Further employment legislation allows for employees to apply to an employment tribunal if the employer has not issued the Statement, and if the tribunal claim also covers other matters where awards can be made, these could be increased due to the absence of a Statement of Particulars.
Preparing a Statement of Particulars
Preparing a Statement of Particulars isn’t difficult or expensive. If your employees haven’t been provided with these documents yet, get in touch with Employment Law Clinic now and we can have these drafted for you within a few days.