The Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that all employees, whether part-time or full-time, are entitled by law to be given a written statement setting out the main particulars of their employment, provided their employment lasts for one month or more. Currently employers must provide all the required particulars within two months of the start of the employment.
Under Section 38 of the Employment Act 2002, employees could be entitled to an award of either two weeks' or four weeks' pay, depending on whether exceptional circumstances apply, if their employer fails to provide them with a written statement of employment particulars or of particulars of any changes in their terms of employment. This right only applies, however, if the employee has successfully brought another substantive Employment Tribunal (ET) claim.
In Govdata Limited v Denton, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) found that the ET had erred in making an award to the claimant under Section 38.
The claimant began working for Govdata Limited on 1 December 2015 but was not given a written statement of initial employment particulars until 15 June 2016. After his employment terminated in August 2016, he brought ET claims for arrears of pay, holiday pay and other payments. His claims were upheld and the award was increased by £958 under Section 38(3) of the Act because of his employer's failure to comply with the law regarding the provision of a statement of employment particulars.
Govdata Limited challenged that decision. Section 38(3) states that such an award can be made if 'when the proceedings were begun the employer was in breach of his duty' to provide a written statement of employment particulars. Whilst the statement had been provided late, Govdata Limited had complied with that requirement. It was therefore no longer in breach of its duty. The EAT agreed and upheld the appeal.
From 6 April 2020, the right to a written statement of employment particulars will be extended to all workers as well as employees and will also become a 'day one' right.