Employers must always provide their employee's with the terms and conditions of their employments, but what could happen when an employer fails to do so?

The law states that employers are required to provide to their employees a statement of key terms and conditions of employment, in writing, within 2 months of them commencing work. This includes information about hours of work, holiday entitlement and place of work, amongst other matters.

If the employer fails to do so, and the employee pursues a successful Tribunal claim, the Tribunal can award between two to four weeks’ pay as compensation for the failure to provide them with such terms under section 38 Employment Act 2002.

In the recent case of Govdata Ltd v Denton, the employer had failed to comply with their obligation to provide a section 1 statement within two months of employment commencing, but did eventually provide the requisite statement around 6 months into the employment relationship.

The employee was subsequently dismissed and brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal for arrears of pay, holiday pay, notice pay and compensation for breach of section 1 as he argued he was not provided with a statement of terms of conditions within two months of his employment commencing.

The Employment Tribunal awarded compensation for the failure to provide the section 1 statement within two months of his employment commencing. The employer appealed and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld the appeal. The EAT concluded that section 38 of the Employment Act 2002 only allowed compensation to be awarded where the employer was in breach of their duty to provide the section 1 statement when proceedings commenced.

Late compliance was still compliance and so the claimant was not entitled to compensation.

This case illustrates the importance of providing a section 1 statement to employees. The EAT’s stance of ‘better late than never’ means that if it is one of those jobs on your ‘to do’ list, it is wise to get on with it and thus avoid having to pay out additional money to former or indeed, existing, employees. Such claims for compensation are set to get even easier to bring from 6 April next year.

From 6 April 2020, the obligation to provide a written statement of main terms will be extended to workers as well as employees. In addition, the statement will have to be given at the time employment begins, the two month grace period will be abolished and the right of employees and workers to receive such a statement will be a “day one right”.

What should I do?

If you haven’t issued section 1 statements to your employees then you can rectify this. Late compliance is still compliance and could ultimately save your business money if you find yourselves on the receiving end of a Tribunal claim.

If you need a section 1 statement drafting to ensure compliance with the legislation, then our multi-award winning employment law team can help.

We are offering a special fixed fee for provision of a template section 1 statement for a limited time only. If the template is requested on or before 30 April 2019, we will provide you with a template for the discounted fixed fee of £200 plus VAT. However, you need to act quickly.

If you would like any further information or to take advantage of the above offer, please contact Hannah Boynes on 0113 2802058 or hannah.boynes@luptonfawcett.law or another member of the employment law team.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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