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Back to basics – Employment Law Series – Section 1 statements to be provided to employees (and, from 6 April 2020, workers)

09 March 2020

We have put together a 5-part series of blogs in which we will explore the basics and fundamentals of employment law. Today’s focus is Section 1 statements.

It is critical for all HR officials and businesses to have a sound foundation in employment law so as to limit risk and avoid disputes …so let’s get the basics right!

Section 1 statement of particulars of employment – the basics you need to know

In this part of blog, we will focus on the written statement of certain particulars of employment to be provided to employees (and, from 6 April 2020, workers)

Section 1 statements: overview

Employers are currently obliged to provide employees whose employment is to continue for more than one month with a written statement of certain terms of their employment. From 6 April 2020, there will be no minimum service requirement.

It must be given to employees no later than two months after their employment begins, even if the employment terminates before the end of the two-month period.

Particulars that must be given in a single document (the principal statement)

The following information is required to be given in the principal statement:

  • The names of the employer and employee.
  • The date the employment starts, and the date the employee's period of continuous employment began.
  • Pay (or method of calculating it) and interval of payment.
  • Hours of work, including normal working hours.
  • Holiday entitlement and holiday pay.
  • The employee's job title or a brief description of the work.
  • Place of work.
  • A person to whom the employee can appeal if they are dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision relating to them or any decision to dismiss them.
  • A person to whom the employee can apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to the employment and the manner in which any such application should be made.

From 6 April 2020, additional particulars must also be provided to all workers in the principal statement:

  • The days of the week the worker is required to work and whether working hours or days may be variable, with details of how they may vary.
  • Any other benefits provided by the employer.
  • Any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration.
  • Any training provided by the employer which the worker is required to complete and any other required training in respect of which the employer will not bear the cost.
  • The notice periods for termination by either side.
  • Terms as to length of temporary or fixed-term work.
  • Terms related to work outside the UK for a period of more than one month.

Enforcement and remedies

An employee may make a complaint to an employment tribunal where an employer:

  • Fails to provide a section 1 statement.
  • Provides an inaccurate statement.
  • Provides an incomplete statement.

Where an employee has no other successful substantive claim, their sole remedy will be a declaration from the employment tribunal either:

  • Confirming the particulars as they stand.
  • Amending them or substituting other particulars as it thinks appropriate

However, where the employee has successfully brought a substantive claim in such circumstances the tribunal must make an award of the minimum amount (two weeks' pay) unless there are "exceptional circumstances" which would make such an award "unjust or inequitable". The tribunal may award the higher amount (four weeks' pay) if it considers it just and equitable in all the circumstances. The statutory cap on a week's pay applies.

Contact if you would like to discuss in house training, or if you have issues in the workplace you would like to discuss formally or informally.

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