Currently, all employees have a statutory right to receive a statement of employment particulars once they reach one months’ continuous employment. Employers are legally required to provide the statement within two months of the start of employment and the statement must contain specific information outlined within the Employment Rights Act 1996.
A failure to provide a statement, or where a statement is provided which does not contain the required information, could lead to the employee making a reference to an employment tribunal to determine their terms of employment. Additionally, an employee may receive compensation for a failure to be provided a statement where they win an alternative claim at the employment tribunal.
Statements of employment particulars are also known as statements of main terms, SMTs or can be called employment contracts.
There are future changes to the statutory scheme which are due to take effect from 6 April 2020. These include extending the right to receive a statement to all workers, increasing the mandatory information and making this a day-one right.
Changes to written statements announced by government
An independent review into modern ways of working, and the clarity afforded to workers, was carried out by Matthew Taylor and resulted in the Good Work Review which was published in July 2017.
Following consultations on this matter, the government’s ‘Good Work Plan’ released in December 2018 has confirmed that legislation will be introduced to make the entitlement to a written statement a day-one right for workers and employees, and increase the mandatory information contained within the statement. These changes will take effect from 6 April 2020.