There are plenty of changes ahead for 2020 and employment law is no exception! One of the changes coming in April relates to “section 1 statements”. Our specialist Employment Team have put together a useful overview of the changes.
What is a section 1 statement?
A written statement of certain terms of employment, as required by section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. These written statements are often referred to as a “section 1 statement” or “principal statement”. In most cases, the employment contract itself will include the required written statement.
What are the key changes to section 1 statements?
The following key changes (along with others) will take effect from 6 April 2020, in relation to the right to a written statement:
- the right will be extended to workers, as well as employees;
- it becomes a “day one” right, and must be given on the first day of work (at present, it must be provided within two months);
- certain additional information must be included in the written statement, for example: details of any variable working hours, any probationary period, any training, any paid leave (including parental leave) and any benefits; and
- the information must, as a general rule, be contained in a single statement.
Why is this important?
If an employee or worker is not provided with a statement (or is provided with a deficient statement), they may be able to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal (ET).
In respect of staff whose employment began before 6 April 2020, there is a requirement to notify them of any changes to any of the terms which must be included in the written statement. If this is not done, they may be able to bring a claim to the ET.
For successful claims, the ET can award between two and four weeks’ pay (subject to the statutory cap on a week’s pay, which is currently £525 but may increase in April).
What do I need to do?
It’s important to ensure that any template employment contracts and/or section 1 statements are compliant going forwards, in relation to new starters – including workers as well as employees.
It’s also important to understand your obligations in relation to existing staff.
If you require help reviewing your template employment contracts and/or section 1 statements to ensure compliance in respect of new starters going forwards, please do get in touch. We can also advise you on implementing changes to terms for existing staff.
Disclaimer: Anything posted on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any general or specific matter. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information. Please contact the author of the blog if you would like to discuss the issues raised.