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28 February 2020

Employment Law Update: Changes to Employment Contracts

On 6 April 2020, changes to sections 1 to 3 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) will come into force.

One change to the law is that instead of issuing employees written statements (contracts of employment) within two months of commencing employment, all new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particulars from their first day of employment.

In addition to ensuring that written statements are provided from an employee’s first day, they will also need to include additional particulars, details of which are set out below:

  • the hours and days of the week the worker/employee is required to work, whether they may be varied and how;
  • entitlements to any paid leave, for example, statutory maternity/paternity leave;
  • any other benefits not covered elsewhere in the written statement;
  • details of any probationary period;
  • details of training provided by the employer, highlighting any which is mandatory or which will not be paid for by the employer.

Another item of paid leave that will need to be included in the written statements relates to the Parental and Bereavement Leave and Pay Act 2018 which is new legislation which also comes into force from 6 April 2020. 

This new legislation will give all employed parents the right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

Employer’s next steps – what should you do?

Employers should ensure that they review and amend their existing written statements so that they are compliant.

What are the risks?

A failure to provide a section 1 statement, or one that meets the requirements, may give rise to an employment tribunal claim from affected workers or employees. The tribunal will determine the relevant terms of engagement.

If you would like to discuss the employment law changes or would like us to review and amend your existing contracts of employment then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Employment Law Team at Steeles Law on 01603 59800 or email DTraube@steeleslaw.co.uk

*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.

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