From time to time we come across employers who have failed to issue their employees with any written statement of terms and conditions, in some cases the employees have been working for them for many years. Obviously, apart from the legal requirement to do so with two months of the employee starting work (section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996), putting written terms in place provides clarity for all parties and is also an opportunity to protect the employer’s business in various ways. Employers should also be aware that a failure to provide a written statement of terms and conditions can result in an increase in compensation where a claim succeeds in the employment tribunal.
In the recent case of Goydata Ltd v Denton, the EAT has confirmed that it is never too late to correct this error. Provided that a contract of employment is issued to an employee before the case begins in the employment tribunal, there will be no right to award an increase in compensation.
All that said, don’t leave it that late to provide your employees with contracts of employment if you have not already done so – act now and make sure they have an up to date contract firmly in place, signed and held on their personnel file for future reference. If you need help with preparing a contract of employment or would like yours reviewed, do get in touch.N