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Section 1 Statements

Most people know that Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 requires employees to be given a statement of employment particulars (usually contained in a contract of employment) within 2 months of their employment commencing.

What happens if the employee doesn’t last two months? Does the obligation fall away?

Stefanko and others v Maritime Hotel Ltd

The three Claimants were employed by the Maritime Hotel as waiting staff for relatively short periods of a few months. At the Employment Tribunal all Claimants succeeded in claims for automatic unfair dismissal for asserting a statutory right.

Two of the employees received an increase in their award, as they had more than two months’ continuous service, the amount of time provided to employers under section 1(2) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to provide a statement of particulars of employment and had not been provided with such statement.

The third Claimant, Ms. Woronowicz, did not have her award increased as she had only been employed by the Respondent for six weeks.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that this was incorrect. Section 2(6) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that an employee is entitled to a statement of particulars of employment even if their employment terminates before the expiry of the two month time period.  Therefore, Ms. Woronowicz was entitled to one and to an increased award.

Comment

This case emphasises the importance of complying with the legal requirements set out in section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Where an employee will be working for more than one month, they are entitled to receive a statement of particulars of employment, within the first two months of their employment. If their employment ends in the meantime, they are still entitled to receive a statement of particulars. Failing to provide particulars could result in increased compensation in the event of the ex-employee succeeding with an employment tribunal claim.

This is a timely decision, given that The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will give every new employee the right to a statement of employment particulars from their first day of employment with effect from 6 April 2020.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the employment team on 01228 552600 or 01524 548494.

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