The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 are an interesting read as they contain two important changes from 06 April 2020.

These two changes are:

  1. The statement of employment particulars becomes a day 1 right, and
  2. The holiday pay reference period (where a worker has variable remuneration) becomes 52 weeks prior to the first day of holiday as opposed to the current 12

I want to look at the first of these and consider the changes that are coming to the statement of particulars from 2020.

At this time it is worth mentioning the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 that are also scheduled to come into force on 06 April 2020.  The purpose of the 2019 Regulations is to extend the statutory right to written particulars to workers as well as employees.

Background

In July 2017 Matthew Taylor published the independent Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, which looked into the issues in the UK labour market.  This included recommendations to ‘increase transparency’ of operations between employers and individuals.

From 07 February to 23 May 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consulted on Taylor’s transparency recommendations and a full set of consultation responses were published in December 2018.  If you have the time, have a look at the individual responses and see how the different organisations, unions and representative bodies responded.

Collectively, these responses have resulted in policy changes and the above legislation.

Great Britain

In the first instance, note that the Explanatory Note to this legislation says that territorial extent of the Statutory Instrument is England & Wales and Scotland, i.e. that it applies in Great Britain and is not UK-wide.  The reason for that is that this is employment policy and employment law is devolved to Northern Ireland.

In the second, the legislation amends the Employment Rights Act 1996.  So, whilst the Note says that it applies in Great Britain, strictly, it applies where the contract is written under the 1996 Act as opposed to the Northern Ireland equivalent 1996 Order.

So, although Taylor was a UK-wide review of employment practices, as I write, this has only manifested itself in Great British legislation.

What are Employment Particulars?

The employment particulars are, essentially, any document or selection of documents that tell the worker about the employment they are entering into.  For example, the contract of employment may give some of the information but the staff handbook contains the rest.

In the current 1996 legislation, if the particulars of the employment are given in separate documents, the ‘principal’ statement is the one that must be given outlining information such as:

  • The company name
  • The employee’s name, job title (or description of the work)
  • The start date
  • Whether any previous employment counts towards a period of continuous employment
  • Remuneration details, including the date of payment
  • Hours of work
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Where the worker will be working and whether they may have to relocate
  • The details of the addresses if the worker has to work at different locations

This is in a single document.  See the Gov.UK guidance for full information about what the principal and subsequent documents should contain.

The employer only needs to provide the statement / statements if the employment is expected to last for at least a month and has a period of up to two months in which to provide it.

Changes from 06 April 2020
Day 1

The principle statement must be provided to all workers starting on or after 06 April 2020 by the end of the first day of employment.  The reference to providing it within 2 months is removed.

The Qualifying Period

Regardless of whether the employment is to last one week or indefinitely, the employer will have to provide the worker with the principal statement by the end of day 1.  The one-month minimum period is abolished.

Information in the Principle Statement

As mentioned above, the principle statement must include some information but there is a statutory obligation to provide other information – this may be in the form of a staff handbook / Intranet etc.  For new employees on or after 06 April 2020, the information to be included in the principle statement increases.  For ease of reading, I have detailed this as:

  • ‘Already a requirement’ – meaning that the employer is obliged to provide this now but it does not have to be in the principle statement
  • ‘NEW’ – meaning that this is information that the employer has not been obliged to provide in any form previously but will be required to provide on day 1 of employment from 06 April 2020
Already a requirement
  • How long a temporary job is expected to last
  • Notice periods
  • Details of eligibility for sick leave and pay
NEW
  • Details of other types of paid leave e.g. maternity leave and paternity leave.
  • The duration and conditions of any probationary period
  • All remuneration (not just pay) – contributions in cash or kind
  • Which specific days and times workers are required to work
  • Training provided by the employer, required by the employer or required by the employer which they will not bear the cost of

Note that the above is information to be included in the single-document principle statement (given on day 1).  There is also other mandatory written information that must be provided (e.g. pensions) and this still has to be provided.

Any ‘pre-06 April 2020’ worker can request a Principle Statement with the new information and the employer is obliged to provide that within one month.

Guidance

The Explanatory Memorandum to the 2018 Regulations says that BEIS and ACAS will ‘consider how best to raise awareness of the legal requirement to provide a written statement to workers and employees’.

Employers need to be 100% sure of these changes and ensure they are implemented correctly from 06 April 2020.

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