Terms and Conditions – clarification of the obligation to provide written particulars of employment

The EAT has held in Stefanko and others v Maritime Hotel Ltd that provided an employee has worked continuously for at least 1 month, they are entitled to a statement of employment particulars, even if they are employed for less than 2 months.

In accordance with Section 1(2) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996), an employee is entitled to a written statement of employment particulars within 2 months of the commencement of their employment. The failure to provide this may entitle the employee to additional compensation if they bring a successful tribunal claim for another substantive reason.

The Claimants in this case were all waiting staff employed by the Maritime Hotel for relatively short periods of time. One of the Claimants, Mrs Woronowicz, succeeded in a claim for automatically unfair dismissal. Despite having been employed for only 6 weeks, the EAT held that the award ought to be increased as a result of a failure to provide either a payslip or statement of employment particulars.

It was decided that at first instance the Tribunal had been incorrect to find that Mrs Woronowicz had not been entitled to an increased award as she did not have 2 months’ continuous employment. The EAT concluded that, in accordance with section 2(6) ERA 1996, Mrs Woronowicz was entitled to the statement despite her employment ending before the 2 months were up.

This decision should be borne in mind by employers who engage staff on relatively short-term contracts. It is also worth noting that with effect from 6 April 2020, new legislation will come into force affording every employee and worker the right to a statement of employment particulars from day one of their employment.

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