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employment contracts – be prepared for 6 April changes

11 March 2020

On 6 April 2020 the law is changing with regard to contracts and statements of particulars – specifically whom they apply to and what information needs to be included in them.

A summary of these changes are as follows:

  1. In future, both employees and workers will require a contract and/or a statement of particulars. This has increased from employees only.

  2. The qualifying service period will reduce from one month to none.

  3. You must provide individuals with the final documentation (or as much information as you can) before or at the point their employment starts. Limited information can still be provided within two months, relating to pensions and pension schemes, collective agreements, training entitlement and disciplinary/grievance processes. This information still needs to be provided even if employment ends before the two-month period.

  4. The vast majority of the information that legally needs to be included must be contained within one standalone document. Previously it was okay to provide multiple documents. Whilst it is expected that the remit of information will increase over time, at present you should include all previous particulars (although the continuous employment date will only be required for employees, not workers) plus:
  1. the wording relating to normal hours of work should be extended to include: normal working hours, the days of the week the worker is required to work and whether or not such hours or days may be variable, and, if they are variable, how they vary or how that variation is determined;
  2. any other paid leave;
  3. any other benefits provided by the employer that do not fall within any of the other particulars;
  4. any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration; and
  5. any training entitlement provided by the employer, any part of that training entitlement which the employer requires the worker to complete, and any other training that the employer requires the worker to complete which the employer will not bear the cost of.

Going forward, only the following can be excluded from the main document and provided as standalone documents:

  1. pensions and pension schemes;
  2. collective agreements;
  3. training entitlement;
  4. disciplinary/grievance processes;
  5. incapacity for work due to sickness or injury, including any provision for sick pay and any other paid leave.

All new workers and employees who join your organisation on or after 6 April will be entitled to the above. This is a change in practice for workers and is an opportunity for you to check that you are getting employment status right. You may want to take a look at our previous article on IR35 in this regard.

The above does not, however, apply to workers who are engaged prior to 6 April 2020. 

For existing employees, transitional provisions are included, allowing an employee to request (once) a statement of particulars (with the new details included), or a revised statement in the event of a change of particulars (including changes to any of the forthcoming amends). In either case, a new or revised statement of particular must be provided within one month of request.

How we can help you

If you are one of our existing HR Core clients, our template contracts will automatically be updated and made available to you.

If you are new to Browne Jacobson’s HR services for schools we welcome the opportunity to discuss your requirements with you. You have the option of purchasing a copy of our newly updated template contracts. We can also review your existing contract(s) to make sure they are compliant with the April 2020 amends. Please contact us if you wish to discuss these options further.

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Browne Jacobson’s Associate Philip Wood discusses the rise in growth of SEN and the impact of this on schools. Please note that this event was postponed from May 2020.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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