When the Government published proposals in its December 2018 Good Work Plan to extend the employment information which must be provided to employees, the implementation date felt like a long time off. However, it is suddenly looming close and employers must ensure they are prepared and able to provide the information to any new recruits who start work on or after 6 April 2020.
In addition, to add to employers’ burdens, for the first time, the information must also be given to workers, requiring businesses to assess whom in the workforce may be eligible to receive the extended particulars.
The current impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on employers’ ability to respond to the effect on their workforces of reduced demand for products and services also highlights the importance of careful consideration of contractual provisions, giving added weight to the need to review the drafting of contracts of employment going forward and consideration of including more employer flexibility, including clauses relating to lay-off.
Who is eligible to receive the new employment particulars?
Employees and workers who are engaged on or after 6 April 2020 are entitled to receive the new extended employment particulars. In general, no employees or workers who commenced work before this date have to be given the new information. NB however, there are transitional provisions which do allow existing employees (who started work after 30 November 1993) to request a new section 1 statement during the course of their employment of within 3 months of its termination. Employers must comply within one month of the request.
When does the information have to be provided?
Most of the employment particulars must be given on or before the date employment starts. However, information relating to pensions, collective agreements, any training entitlement provided by the employer and certain disciplinary and grievance information can be given up to 2 months after the employment starts. This is in contrast to the existing position which does not provide a day 1 right to the information and instead generally allows up to 2 months from the start of employment for the information to be provided.
What information has to be provided?
The table below sets out the information which must already be provided, plus the supplementary information which must be provided to new starters from 6 April 2020.
NB if any of the information below does not apply in the particular circumstances the employment particular must state this; for example, if a probationary period does not apply, the employment particulars must expressly state this (as opposed to simply omitting any reference to a probationary period).
|Single doc from 6 April?||Instalments possible from 6 April?|
|Existing information to be provided|
|Names of the employer and employee*||Y||N|
|Date when the employment begins/began||Y||N|
|The date on which the employee’s period of continuous service begins/began||Y||N|
|Remuneration and intervals of payment||Y||N|
|Any terms and conditions relating to hours of work, including normal working hours||Y||N|
|Any terms and conditions relating to: entitlement to holiday, public holidays and holiday pay||Y||N|
|Any terms and conditions relating to: incapacity for work and sick pay||N**||N|
|Any terms and conditions relating to pensions||N**||Y|
|The length of notice the employee* must give and is entitled to receive||N***||N|
|The employee’s* job title or a brief description of the work employed to do||Y||N|
|Non-permanent work: The period for which it will continue or, if it is for a fixed term, the date when it is to end||Y||N|
|The place of work||Y||N|
|Any collective agreements which affect the terms and conditions of employment||N||Y|
|If the employee is required to work outside the UK for more than 1 month, the period for which he is to work outside the UK and the remuneration in which he will be paid||Y||N|
|The name of the person to whom the employee can appeal in disciplinary proceedings and to whom the employee can seek redress for a grievance and the manner of any such applications||Y||N|
|Disciplinary rules applicable to the employee*||N||Y|
|New additional information to be provided|
|Any benefits provided by the employer which are not covered elsewhere||Y||N|
|Any terms and conditions relating to the days of the week the worker is required to work, and whether or not such hours of days may be variable and, if they may be, how they vary or how that variation is to be determined.||Y||N|
|Terms and conditions relating to any other paid leave (apart from sick leave and holiday)||N**||N|
|Any probationary period, including conditions and duration||Y||N|
|Any training entitlement provided by the employer||N**||Y|
|Any training provided by the employer which is mandatory||Y||N|
|Any mandatory training which the employer will not pay for||Y||N|
|*||From 6 April 2020, references to ‘employee’ will be replaced by ‘worker’.|
|**||The information must be in a reasonably accessible document referred to in the principal statement e.g. a staff handbook or a document on the intranet.|
|***||The information must be in a collective agreement|
What are the sanctions for not providing the information?
Employees are entitled to bring a claim in the employment tribunal if an employer does not provide them with the required information, or provides inaccurate or incomplete information. As a standalone claim, the remedy is a declaration which will either confirm the particulars as stated or amend them as appropriate. Compensation is not payable. However, if an employee also brings another successful substantive claim in the tribunal (e.g unfair dismissal, discrimination etc) and, at the time of the claim being brought, the employer still hasn’t complied with its obligation to provide the statutory information, the employee may be eligible for an award of at least 2 weeks’ capped pay (rising to 4 weeks if the tribunal considers it just and equitable in all the circumstances).