Contracts of Employment or Statement of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment.
Anyone who is employed is entitled to a Statement of Terms and Conditions of Employment which is the foundation of a contract of employment. It used to be that your employer was allowed up to 8 weeks to provide this, but recent legislation means that it has to be provided on day one of employment. For those minded to look at the law it is found in Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which can be found by clicking here. The legislation has been amended a few times with the latest incarnation saying that details of maternity leave and pay has to be included. It is important that you actually read and understand the Contract of Employment or Statement of Terms and Conditions, it is a legal document and you must be sure that you want to accept all of the terms.
Essentially the Act lists all of the elements that must be in the Statement of Terms as a minimum, an employment contract can, and often does, have a lot more information. As a minimum you are entitled to know what you are expected to do, how much you will be paid and when and what holiday you are entitled to. You should also be told about sick pay, what notice you are entitled to if you leave the job and how you can raise a grievance if you have a problem at work. The terms should also provide information about any collective bargaining (Trade Union agreements) or let you know if there is not any. There must also be provision for disciplinarians and how they are to be governed. And there must be information about the pension scheme. Almost everyone is entitled to have access to a workplace pension these days – it is called Auto-enrolment and you can find out more about that by clicking here.
Often contracts will include post termination restrictions, which may mean that you are not allowed to work for a competitor for a period of time, there may also be clauses to say that you need to return any training costs if you leave before a certain time.
At the start, I said anyone employed is entitled to a ‘statement’ or contract, this includes people on casual terms or zero hours as well. If you have not been given a statement or contract you should speak to your employer and find out why. If you are refused a contract it is possible to complain to the Employment Tribunal, but before you did something that drastic you should speak to one of our employment law experts by calling the Nottingham Head Office on 0115 856 1625. We can also check any contract and explain any terms that you don’t understand.