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Employment Law Case Update: Statement of particulars

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Issuing employees with a statement of particulars in a legal requirement and one that must be done within a certain timeframe.  A recent case however has led to the question of when such a statement should be provided.

Miss Stefanko, Miss Woronowicz and Mr Jonik were employed by Maritime Hotel Ltd at various dates, beginning from April 2016. The claimants, who are of Polish origin, were dismissed by the hotel in July 2016. None of them were given a statement of particulars of their employment – a requirement under Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act states that such particulars of employment are to be given to an employee no later than two months after an employee’s beginning of employment.

The three employees were dismissed because they complained about persistent shortfalls in their wages, late payment and falsification of their payslips. At the original Employment Tribunal (ET) hearing, they were found to have been dismissed for asserting a statutory right, which constituted automatic unfair dismissal.

At the time of their dismissal, two of the employees had worked for the employer for over two months, but Miss Woronowicz had six weeks’ service. All three claimed in relation to not being given a section one statement, but Ms Woronowicz’s claim was rejected as the ET stated that the right to compensation for not receiving such a statement applied only after two months’ service. Miss Woronowicz then appealed.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that the right to a section 1 statement arises from an employee’s first day of employment. The EAT made reference to section 2(6) of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which states that a statement shall be given to a person under section 1 even if their employment ends before the timeframe when they should have received a statement.

Section 198 of the Employment Rights Act 1998 states that section 1 of the Act does not apply to an employee if their employment continues for less than one month. The EAT ruled that the obligation to provide a section 1 statement continues for employees with one month or more service, whether or not the employment relationship is ended in its second month, and therefore ruled that Miss Woronowicz was entitled to a claim for automatic unfair dismissal for asserting a statutory right; a claim in which she succeeded.

The EAT stated that it is best practice for written particulars to be provided as soon as possible to protect both parties and to minimise the risk of ambiguity or misunderstanding of the terms agreed that form the contractual basis of an employment relationship.

The government will be introducing the Good Work Plan from 6 April 2020, where it will become a legal requirement for a section 1 statement to be issued to both employees and workers from their first day of service. There will be no minimum timeframe whereby an employee or worker will need to be engaged by an employer for their eligibility to receive a section 1 statement to apply.

If you have questions regarding statements of particulars, you can contact the Employment team today on 023 8071 7717 or email employment@warnergoodman.co.uk

ENDS

This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.