Each employee is entitled by statute to receive a written summary of the major terms of employment.
The employer must provide this information within two months from the commencement of employment. It makes sense for the letter offering employment to specify these terms in the first place. The employee is entitled to have a further written summary of any change in terms within one month of the change being implemented.
The written particulars to which each employee is entitled are:-
- The name and address of the employer
- The date when the employment began (including any period with a previous employer which counts – for example on a transfer of undertakings)
- The rate of remuneration or how remuneration is to be calculated.
- The intervals at which payment is to be made.
- Any terms and conditions in relation to hours of employment.
- Any terms and conditions in relation to entitlement of holidays and holiday pay – to include details of public holidays. The information must be sufficient to enable the employee to calculate their entitlement.
- Any terms and conditions in relation to incapacity for work including sick pay.
- Details of any pension schemes.
- Details of notice which the employee is required to give or receive.
- A brief job description/job title.
- Details of the place of work.
There are additional requirements in cases where there are collective agreements with Trade Unions or where the employee is required to work outside the United Kingdom for more than a month at a time.
If any employer fails to provide these written particulars the employee may apply to a Tribunal to determine what the particulars of employment are. Where the application is coupled with another claim (for example unfair dismissal) the Tribunal may also award compensation of between two or four weeks pay.
It is not a necessity that contracts of employment are reduced to writing but given the obligations set out above this is clearly sensible.