Contracts from an employee’s viewpoint

Following on from last week’s article, we continue to look at employment contracts from the employee’s viewpoint. This week, we look at the minimum statutory requirements for any written statement of terms and conditions of employment.

Every employee has a right to such a written statement, which must be given to the employee no later than two months after employment commences. The statement must still be given if the employee leaves during the two-month period, unless he or she works for less than one month. Employees can apply to a tribunal to determine the particulars if the employer does not provide a statement or an inadequate one is provided. There is no financial penalty against the employer.


Contents of written statement of particulars


The following information must be included in the written statement (sections 1 to 6, Employment Rights Act 1996) for employees working in the UK. The information may be either in the statement itself, or the statement may refer to other documents. However, those items marked “*” must all technically be in one document, although there is no real sanction if they are not.


  • *The name of the employer and the employee

  • *The date on which employment (and continuous employment for statutory purposes began)

  • *Salary level, payment intervals, and method of calculating other remuneration (eg commission)

  • *Hours of work

  • *Holiday terms and conditions (including any entitlement to accrued holiday pay)

  • Terms and conditions relating to sickness absences and sick pay

  • Terms and conditions relating to pensions

  • Whether or not a contracting out certificate is in force

  • *Details of notice period from both sides to terminate employment and whether the contract is for a fixed term (and if so, for how long)

  • *Job title or description of duties

  • *Place of work

  • Details of any collective agreements which affect the terms and conditions of employment

If no particulars apply to a category, then this should be stated (eg, “there are no collective agreements applicable to this employment”). Any subsequent change to any particulars must also be recorded in writing as soon as possible.

The statement should also include a note specifying any disciplinary and grievance rules (the employee may be referred to a separate document). The rules must give the employee the name of the person to approach to seek redress of a grievance or if the employee is dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision. If the employer, together with any group or parent company has fewer than twenty employees on the date when the employee’s employment began, the employer is exempted from providing these rules.

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