Section 1 Statement
On 6 April 2020, the requirement for employers to provide a Section 1 Statement (in accordance with the Employment Rights Act 1996) changed.
The main change is that the right to a section 1 statement will become a ‘day one’ right. This means that all new employees will be entitled to receive a written section 1 statement on or before their first day of employment (only limited information can be provided after this point). The rules about what must be included in the Section 1 Statement also changed. This means there is less opportunity to refer out to another document such as an Employee Handbook. The aim of the changes around the Section 1 Statement are to increase transparency between workers and employers as well as improving the enforcement of employment rights.
Section 1 Statement Prior to April 2020
Employers were only legally required to provide a Section 1 Statement to their employees within 2 months of the employee’s start date. Frequently, offer letters contained much of the required information and directed the employee to ancillary documents such as the employee handbook or other policies for details on holiday, sick pay and absences, disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Section 1 Statement Post April 2020
From 6 April 2020, the issuing of Section 1 Statements became a day 1 right. Meaning the Section 1 Statement must be provided on or before the first day of work. Therefore, removing the two-month grace period.
The legislation also extended the list of information that must be included in the Section 1 Statement.
The following information must be contained in all section 1 Statements issued on or after 6 April 2020:
- Names of employer and employee
- Address of the employer
- Date employment and continuous employment started
- Job description / job title
- Probationary Period: including its duration and any conditions that apply (such as a shorter notice period) during the probation;
- Job location;
- Pay: including how pay is calculated, how it is paid i.e. bank transfer, cash or cheque and the frequency of payment i.e. weekly, monthly etc;
- Benefits: such as pension scheme, death in service benefits etc, both contractual and non-contractual benefits should be included;
- Working Hours: specifically, normal working hours, normal working days of the week, whether such working days are variable and if so, the basis on how that variation is determined and whether the employee is expected to work overtime or unsocial hours;
- Holiday Entitlement: including bank and public holidays and how holiday pay is calculated;
- Other Paid Leave including maternity, adoption and paternity leave, shared parental leave and the new right to paid parental bereavement leave
- Sick Pay and Absence Reporting Procedures
- Training Entitlements: including details of any compulsory training, including whether the employer will pay for it;
- Notice Periods: length of notice of termination required from employer and worker.
- Details of any collective agreement that directly affect the employee’s conditions of employment; and
If the worker is required to work outside the UK for over a month: arrangements for working outside the UK (including period, currency of pay, additional pay and benefits and return terms)
What Happens If A Compulsory Clause Subsequently Changes?
If there is any change to any of the required statutory particulars of employment, the employer must give the employee or worker a written statement containing details of the change at the earliest opportunity and, in any event, no later than one month after the change.
Information Which Can Be Provided After Employment Has Started
The following information can be provided within 2 months of the start date of the new employee:
- Any non-compulsory training provided by the employer
- Disciplinary and grievance procedures
What About Existing Employees?
The changes are not retrospective and only apply to new appointments on or after 6 April 2020. There is no requirement to issue new statements to existing staff unless you have made a change to the content of the statement which affects existing employees.
Existing staff will, however, have the right to request new Section 1 Statements at any time, including up to three months after the end of their appointment/employment, and you will have one month to comply.
Failure To Comply?
Employees and workers will not be able to bring a freestanding claim for a failure to provide a written statement. However, if an employee or worker brings a separate, successful claim in the employment tribunal, and they are able to show that they were not provided with a compliant written statement, they may be awarded an additional 2 to 4 weeks’ pay (subject to a statutory cap, currently £525/week and due to increase slightly on 6 April).
The penalty for breaching this requirement is quite small, although total costs might be significant if a number of employees bring claims as part of some other litigation.
Although you probably already have much of the required information available for employees/workers care will, however, be needed to ensure that an appropriate level of detail is included within the Section 1 Statement itself, as there is less scope to rely on ancillary documents such as policies in an employee handbook.
Kea HR’s Section 1 Statement Writing Service
I have many years’ experience in writing Section 1 Statements from scratch and will tailor the content of your Section 1 Statement to reflect your working practices whilst taking into account your specific business needs, future goals, culture and values.
I can help you:
- Decide on the right types of employment contracts for your business
- Draft legally sound contracts
- Manage any contract changes
- Make sure your business remains legally compliant
You can work with me on a PAYG basis or could choose an annual contract through my HR Support Service.
Employee Handbook Compliance Package