EAT gives guidance on when written contracts should be given

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The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that an employer failed in its duty to give a written statement of main terms to an employee who had only worked for six weeks. Read on for more detail:

  • Employees are entitled to receive a written statement of main terms of employment once they have been employed for a month. The employer must provide it within two months of the employee’s start date.

  • Three hotel employees were dismissed without having been given a statement of main terms. Two of the employees had been employed for more than two months; one had six weeks’ service.

  • The employment tribunal held that the employee with six weeks’ service did not have a right to a statement because she fell short of the two month threshold.

  • This was overturned on appeal: the EAT held that the right to a statement applies to anyone with one month or more service regardless of whether employment ends before the two-month point.

  • Employers should remember that an employee’s right to receive a statement does not disappear if their employment ends before they reach two months’ service.

  • Maximum compensation for failure to provide a statement of main terms is four weeks’ pay.

Last reviewed 9 January 2019

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