New written statement requirements for new starters

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Currently, employers have two months from an employee’s start date to provide them with specified written confirmation of certain key terms of their employment, known as section 1 statements. Employees starting on or after 6 April 2020 will be entitled to receive this statement on their first day of employment.

The right to receive a section 1 statement on day one will also be extended to “workers”. This means that zero-hours workers, casual staff and individuals providing personal services who are not self-employed will also be entitled to a section 1 statement.

The section 1 statement – or any written contractual terms with employees and workers provided in place of a section 1 statement – will need to include additional information.

First, it should clarify whether there is any probationary period. If so, the statement must indicate its duration, outline any conditions which apply the days of the week to be worked, and confirm whether these days are variable. If they are, you should also explain how the days of work will be determined.

Second, it should mention any benefits provided which are not referenced elsewhere in the contract (if any). You should be careful not to create contractual benefits, so you must clearly state they are non-contractual in any section 1 statement or contract. Written details of discretionary benefits should also be included.

Third, it should also mention any training entitlement provided by the employer, clarifying whether the training costs are payable by the worker and whether it is mandatory.

Finally, it should include any paid leave that the worker is entitled to in addition to holiday and sick leave, such family leave.

There is no obligation to update contracts for existing employees or workers and those engaged before 6 April 2020.  However, existing employees will have the right to request a statement containing the additional information after 6 April 2020. Where requested, their employer must provide this updated section 1 statement within one month.

So, if you are an employer, now is the right the time to review your standard section 1 statements and employee and worker contracts – to ensure that your terms and conditions comply with the new additional information required, and that your onboarding processes include providing the section 1 statement on day one of employment or before.