Contract of Employment

Contract Terms v Written Particulars of Employment ~

Often, people use these phrases interchangeably but their effect is quite different.

Contract Terms

These should contain the complete terms on which an individual has been employed i.e. a comprehensive document of the respective rights of the employer and employee based on the:

  • express clauses in the document plus;
  • implied terms i.e. those which the Courts will view as being part of the contract such as the maintenance of trust and confidence between employee and employer plus;
  • incorporated terms – those found in other documents or trade union agreements which are referred to specifically in the contract.

Many people refer to their document as their contract but in practice is is often more correctly described as their Written Particulars of Employment.

Written Particulars of Employment

Sometimes this is referred to as the Statement of Written Particulars of Employment. The provision of this is a legal requirement However, it is not the complete contract as important terms may not be covered. Written Particulars are required to give specific details of the employment terms as listed in the legislation. The statutory list can be viewed in the later section on Written Particulars of Employment.

TIP – it is wise to include clauses that cover key requirements or conditions that are important in your industry or type of work.

Service Requirement

There is no minimum period of service to be entitled to the Particulars of Employment. 

Time Limit for Issuing Particulars of Employment

The Particulars have two separate names and different time limits by which they have to be given to an individual:

i) the Principal Statement which is the main particulars applying to an individual’s employment
ii) Additional Particulars specific policies that can be given within a later time limit.

Fuller details of what those should contain are given under the heading Written Particulars of Employment

New Employees

Since 6th April 2020 – the Principal Written Particulars must be given no later than the employee’s or worker’s date of commencement.

Any changes to the existing Principal Statement of Particulars orthe Additional Particulars of Employment must be given to an employee within one month of the change.

TIP – It is better to give the particulars before the start date for two key reasons: i) an individual will feel more secure at giving notice to his/her current employer; ii) it gives you time to answer any queries and reassure the individual.

Existing Employees

Individuals employed or working before 6th April 2020 – may request their Principal Written Particulars which must then be provided within one month.  These individuals remain under older legislation which does not require them to be given the ‘additional items’ unless you change their particulars or have done so on or after 6th April 2020.

Penalty for Giving Incorrect or Not Giving Particulars ~

An individual may request a Tribunal to determine all the particulars which should have been issued or only to determine one or more of the particulars.

Enforcement – a failure alone to provide the particulars will not give rise to a monetary award by a Tribunal but may do so if the non provision of particulars is linked to another breach of an employment right. In that case, additional compensation may be awarded for failing to give a statement of Particulars of Employment, the amounts is shown as below:

  • 2 weeks pay £1088 (£1,076) or,
  • if just and equitable, 4 weeks pay  £2,176 (£2,152).