If you decide to recruit your first employee for your small business, one of your legal obligations is to present all staff members with a written statement of employment particulars.
A written statement of employment particulars must be provided to all employees who work for you within two months of them starting work, unless they are working for you for a single month or less.
It doesn’t matter if you have a single employee, or hundreds; the rules apply to businesses of all sizes. This obligation is codified within Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
What should a statement of employment particulars include?
The written statement of employment must contain the following details as a minimum, although the information may be provided across several documents if a single statement isn’t provided:
- The name of the business (employer).
- The employee’s name.
- The start date of employment, and duration of employment if this is not a permanent job.
- The date when any period of continuous employment began, including any previous periods of employment which may affect this date.
- Pay details, including salary and frequency.
- Working hours (including a note of what ‘normal working hours’ are).
- Details of holiday entitlement, sickness provision, and any pension schemes offered by the employer.
- The notice period both employee and employer must give each other in order to terminate the employment.
- Job title, or a short description of the work.
- Details relating to the duration and end-date of a fixed-term contract (if relevant).
- Job location (or locations, if the employee will be working in multiple locations).
- Details of any collective agreements which directly affect the terms of employment.
- A note detailing the firm’s disciplinary and grievance procedures.
If you are recruiting a staff member who will be working overseas of at least a month, you must also inform them what currency they will be paid in, how long the employee will be working overseas, any additional benefits of salary they will be entitled to, and how they will be employed upon their return to the UK.
You do not need to provide a statement of employment to contractors, freelancers or agency workers.
Evidence an employment contract exists
You must must give all of your employees, whose employment contract is for a month or more, a written statement of employment particulars within 2 months of them starting work for you. This document isn’t an employment contract but provides evidence that a contract of employment exists between employer and employee.
You can download a customisable template, which you can use to create a written statement of employment particulars, from the Gov.uk website here.
If you don’t give an employee a written statement, or provide one that isn’t accurate, you could find yourself in an Employment Tribunal and facing a claim for compensation.
Workplace employment specialists, Acas, host a good introductory page on written statements here.
Employers have a number of other responsibilities when they hire staff. Read ByteStart’s guide to your responsibilities when employing staff for further details.
You can read the relevant clauses of the Employment Rights Act 1996 for the precise requirements of written statements of employment here.