News & Insights

Workers gain further rights

Christian Meredith reviews the changes to worker rights coming April 2020.

From 6 April 2020 employers will need to make changes to comply with new rules in relation to the written statement of particulars (also known as section 1 statements).

Currently, under section 1 Employment Rights Act 1996, an employer must provide employees who will work for longer than one month with a section 1 statement. This statement must be given with two months of their employment commencing and must contain certain terms.

The new rules will apply to any person who starts work on or after 6 April 2020 and are detailed below:

  • The obligation on employers to provide section 1 statements will be extended to workers (as well as employees).
  • The one-month service requirement before an employee, and now a worker, is entitled to receive their section 1 statement will no longer apply. Employees and workers will be entitled to receive their section 1 statement from ‘day one’.

There are also further requirements for the section 1 statement to provide additional terms which will also need to be contained in a single document not instalments as was previously the case. Some examples of the further particulars required include:

  • Whether there is a probationary period and, if so, its length and conditions.
  • Whether there is any entitlement to paid leave beyond holiday pay such as maternity or paternity leave.
  • The days of the week the worker is required to work and whether these are variable and, if so, the details of how they vary.

Failure to comply with the above rules could expose employers to compensation claims of up to two to four weeks’ pay per worker if the worker also brings another claim.

Consequently, employers must make sure that from 6 April 2020 all individuals (other than self-employed contractors) should be given a section 1 statement from ‘day one’ of their engagement. The new legislation will also give employers the opportunity to consider how particulars are issued. There is still ample time to review contracts and make the required changes before spring next year.  If you would like us to review your contracts or require advice on employment status issues, please contact Ian Machray.