Guide

The employment contract

Employee enforcement of the right to a written statement

An employee may refer the matter to an Industrial Tribunal where they have:

  • not received a written statement of employment particulars
  • received a written statement that does not comply with the legal requirements
  • not received notification of a change to those particulars
  • received notification of a change that does not comply with the legal requirements

A claim for failure to provide a written statement can only be brought when the deadline for providing it, two months after the start of employment or one month after a change in terms, has expired.

If you have given the employee a written statement - or notification of a change to it - but you disagree over what it should contain, then either you or the employee may refer the matter to a tribunal.

In either case, the tribunal will determine what particulars the employee should have been given. These particulars will have the effect as if you had included them in the written statement, or notification of a change to it, in the first place.

Compensation for failure to issue a written statement

If your employee succeeds in another (unrelated) employment claim, eg unfair dismissal, the tribunal can also award them compensation for your failure to give them a written statement or an accurate or complete statement of change to it - as long as there are no exceptional circumstances that would make this unjust.

The amount of compensation will be two or four weeks' pay (at the tribunal's discretion). A week's pay for this purpose is subject to a statutory limit.

Note that the Labour Relations Agency's (LRA) statutory arbitration scheme cannot accept a claim of failure to provide or update a written statement on its own, as a sole claim, though it may be considered by an LRA arbitrator if it is part of another claim (eg unfair dismissal) or claims under the scheme. The LRA arbitration scheme explained.

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