Currently, employers are only required to give new employees a written employment 'contract' stating their main terms and conditions within two months of starting work.
Following the governments Good Work Plan, the requirements will change for those starting work on or after 6 April 2020. In summary, the changes are:
- The obligation will extend to 'workers' as well as employees
- It must be provided on or before the date on which they start work
- Only certain limited information can be provided later
- The majority of written particulars must be provided in a single document, with only a limited amount capable of being provided in another, easily accessible, document (e.g. Staff Handbook)
The minimum information to be provided to employees and workers has also been increased. The following must also now be included:
- How long the job is expected to last (or state the end date of a fixed-term contract)
- Terms relating to normal hours of work. This includes day of the week the worker will be required to work, plus whether these days/hours will vary
- How much notice is required from both the employer and the employee
- Details of eligibility for sick leave and Statutory Sick Pay
- Details of any other types of paid leave, including family-friendly leave
- Duration and conditions of any probationary period
- Training entitlements, requirements, and whether it'll be paid for by the employer
- Details of other employee benefits, not just those relating to pay
The information can be supplied to employees in a document, but it is common for employers to provide the necessary terms and conditions within a contract of employment. Employers should ensure any new contracts to be used after 6 April cover all the necessary information.
If you have any queries about written employment contracts please contact a member of our Employment Law Team.