We’ve always advised clients that the statement of employment particulars should be provided prior to a person joining the firm. The new employee needs to understand the terms they are signing up to before they commit to you. They should be also be provided with other relevant information to help them make their decision.
Think about it. The average full-time salary in the UK in 2019 was about £36,500. Let me ask you a question. Would you commit your firm to an expenditure of £36.5k without seeing the terms and conditions, or without knowing what you were buying? I’m guessing you said, “You must be joking” (or words to that effect). So why would you expect anyone to join your firm without knowing what they are signing up to?
Employees will be changing their lives to come and work for you. It’s only right that they see the whole deal.
Whilst we believe, in fact, that the government hasn’t gone far enough, the new rules mean that from 6th April 2020 all new employees must be given their written statement of terms and conditions of employment on, or before, their start date.
Written statements will now have to be provided for all ‘workers’ – not just employees. This means that zero hours contract workers must also likewise be provided with a statement of particulars.
The statement must now include the following additional information:
- The hours and the days of the week that the employee or worker will work.
- Information regarding any variation to the normal working hours, and how they may be varied.
- Entitlements to all paid leave e.g. maternity, paternity, adoption.
- Information about all benefits, including non-cash benefits e.g. vouchers, lunch, healthcare, life assurance.
- Details of the probationary period, including the duration and conditions attached to the probationary period.
- Details about training entitlement, including mandatory training. Also details about who pays for the training.
It’s important to ensure that all employees who join on or after 6th April 2020 are provided with this information on time. So, review your documents and update them now. And of course, if you have employees who joined before the 6th April, you will need to immediately provide them with the same information, if you’ve not already done that.
This change shouldn’t be seen as onerous or problematic. As a firm seeing employees as an asset to the firm, rather than a commodity, you will want to attract the best. Showcasing the benefits of joining your firm before the employee joins – and indeed at the point when you make an offer - makes sense.
The previous state (where the details of the employment particulars were to be provided not later than eight weeks from joining) was wrong and the Government has now put that right. We believe, however, that in such an important issue, full details of terms and conditions should be discussed when a firm makes an offer. It’s part of the argument for why someone should want to join.