There is still some confusion for some people about the differences between a written Statement of Employment Particulars and an Employment Contract.
Although the Statement is not an Employment Contract it does indicate that such a contract exists, but an employer has up to two months from the employee starting work to issue the Statement so what, in the interim, might support any claim that an Employment Contract existed?
The fact that an employee received a job offer, accepted it and began paid work is sufficient proof of the existence of an Employment Contract, which does not have to be a written agreement. The contract comes into being with the offer and acceptance of the position and occupying it for agreed remuneration.
The Statement will contain all of the details regarding the conditions of employment including rates of pay, working location and hours, grievance guidance, whether Sundays of Public Holidays will routinely be working days and holiday entitlement.
If the Statement is not issued within two months of the commencement of employment this will automatically give the employee a cause to raise a grievance; initially it’s recommended that the matter is taken up informally with the employer, who will be in breach of legislation and, therefore, the implied terms of the employment contract.
The latter is because when an employer takes on a new employee he takes on responsibility for that employee’s rights under the Employment Rights Act 1996, which is an implied term of any employment contract. One of the provisions of ERA 1996 is that the Statement will be issued within the first two months of employment, as stated above.
If an employer wants to ensure that the employee is in no doubt regarding his or her duties and responsibilities from day one, he will include at least the core content of the Statement in a written Employment Contract and present it to the employee on the start day.
Ignorance may be no excuse, but promoting ignorance by failing to properly communicate with an employee is short-sighted and inexcusable.