Contracts of Employment: No longer on the back burner

Mar 24 | 2020

Backhouse Jones Solicitors explains the finer points of new legislation that will affect every business in the UK.

Backhouse Jones Solicitors explains the finer points of new legislation that will affect every business in the UK.When a new member of staff joins a company there’s a lot to do and paperwork might not be top of the priority list.  Contracts of employment in particular, can usually fall on the back burner as employers currently have up to two months to issue a statement of written particulars of employment to employees who have been working for more than a month.

In the UK all this is about to change as from 6 April, 2020 when the right to a contract of employment for employees and workers will become mandatory from day one.

What needs to be included within these terms has also been broadened.  In addition to the current information that must be provided for all new starters on or after 6 April, 2020, the employment terms and conditions should also include:

  • How long a job is likely to last, or the end date of a fixed-term contract;
  • The duration and conditions of any probationary period;
  • How much notice the employer and worker are required to give to terminate the agreement;
  • Details of eligibility for sick leave and pay;
  • Details of other types of paid leave;
  • All remuneration (not just pay);
  • Training entitlement provided by the employer, any part of that training entitlement which the employer requires the worker to complete, and any other training which the employer requires the worker to complete and which the employer will not bear the cost;
  • Normal working hours, also the days of the week the worker is required to work, and whether or not such hours or days may be variable, and if they may be, how they vary or how that variation is to be determined.

Backhouse Jones Solicitors recommends that employers start to review their current contracts of employment as soon as possible to check they contain what is required and check they have all been issued to staff to begin with. The company has reported regular queries relating to what the contracts permit, to find that they have not actually been issued as an oversight. Issuing contracts should now become an integral part of your recruitment process latter stages to ensure this is not omitted.  The company also recommends that processes are reviewed to delegate this task clearly and ensure that the correct documents are prepared in advance of anyone starting work on day one.

Although not officially part of the requirements under new legislation changes, employers working in the transport sector have more specific provisions to communicate to staff that are transport related. They should be addressed in the contracts of employment to ensure the standard and expectations are known from day one.

The changes will eventually apply throughout the EU, but member states have until 1 August 2022 to implement the changes, so employers should check locally to see when the new rules will be introduced in their country.

Employers in the UK can have their contracts reviewed by Backhouse Jones’ team of specialist employment lawyers in the transport sector, to ensure they are up to date and protect the business as they should.  A review or drafting of contracts can be provided for a fixed price.