What information does an employer have to give to an employee when they start and vice versa? Read on to find out.
The Employment Rights Act 1996 sets out the rules relating to what should be in a statement of main particulars of employment. It has become referred to as “the contract of employment” – even by Tribunal Chairmen – but strictly it is a statement. As such it is not legally binding (employees sign for receipt of it, not that they agree to it) but it is excellent evidence as to what is the contract.
The contract of employment can be more than the statement, it can include offers made (and accepted) in the job advert, verbally at the interview and everything contained in a job offer letter.
The statement must be issued after one month’s employment and before two months. It can be issued in two parts, but for most employers it would be administratively simpler to issue in one. The statement can refer, for some issues, to information in an employee handbook. As you would expect it must state the name and address of the employer, name of employee, job title, salary/wage and interval paid, date of start (and any previous employment which counts as continuous), disciplinary rules, procedures and authority.
These last few: disciplinary rules, procedures etc. have to be explained in some detail, which is why they are normally contained in a staff handbook.
In a staff handbook policies for health & safety and equal opportunities etc. would also be included. The equal opportunities policy, particularly, has to be taught to all new staff (longer serving staff need to be reminded of it periodically); the policy must be enforced if there are any breaches and reviewed. While there is no statute that dictates such action should be taken by any employer, there are codes of practice in abundance to trip over if you do not.
It amply repays any employer to properly inform all employees of the terms and conditions of employment that apply to them – that way everyone knows where they stand; control is easier and, if followed correctly, success at any Employment Tribunal is almost guaranteed.
By “vice versa” I assume you mean what information an employee must provide to the employer. Employers have to assure themselves that someone has the right to work under the asylum and immigration rules. Therefore, if an individual wishes to work for you they will have to provide the necessary information.
That is a statutory requirement. Some roles require the possession of qualifications, doctors for example, the care and financial services industries are subject to “fitness to work” rules regarding children, vulnerable adults, financial propriety and the Criminal Records Bureau, plus other government department rules insist on strict compliance relating to suitability.
Apart from these the employer can ask for whatever information is proper relating to the role in their organisation. If the potential employee chooses not to answer obviously relevant questions – “why did you leave your last employer?” – for example, be suspicious, be very suspicious and don’t employ them.
See also: Employee perks on the rise