Guide

The employment contract

Putting together an employee's written statement

You can set out an employee's written statement in one or more documents.

Either that document or one of those documents must contain - at the very least - certain information and is known as the principal statement.

In addition to the information that you must put in the principal statement, employers must also give the employee information under the following headings.

Sickness, injury and sick pay

Include terms and conditions relating to sickness or injury including any sick pay provisions.

Alternatively, you can refer to another document containing this information - eg the staff/company handbook - which is accessible to the employee.

See absence and sickness policies: what to include.

Period of employment

Include details of where the employment is not intended to be permanent, the period for which it is expected to continue, or if it is a fixed-term contract, the date when it is to end.

Notice periods

Include the length of notice required from both parties.

Rather than stating specific terms, you can refer to the relevant legislation - see how to issue the correct periods of notice.

Collective agreements

Include details of any collective agreements with trade unions that directly affect the terms and conditions of employment including, where the employer is not a party, the persons by whom they were made.

Pensions

Include any terms relating to pensions and pension schemes. All employers must provide workers with a qualifying workplace pension, known as automatic enrolment. Know your legal obligations on pensions.

Dismissal, disciplinary and grievance procedures

Include some details in the written statement itself. These are:

  • the name or job title of the person the employee should apply to in order to resolve a grievance, and how they should make this application
  • the name or job title of the person the employee should apply to if they're dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision or decision to dismiss them, and how this application should be made

Some other details that must be included can be either set out in the written statement itself or referred to in another document that the employee can access easily, such as a staff/company handbook. These are:

  • the disciplinary rules that you have
  • the disciplinary procedures that you have
  • the steps that follow an application to resolve a grievance and/or if the employee is dissatisfied with a disciplinary or dismissal decision

For more information on dismissal, disciplinary and grievance issues, see our guides on dismissing employees, disciplinary procedures, hearings and appeals and handling grievances.

Employment outside the UK

Include details of any terms relating to employment outside the UK for more than a month.

If a new employee will normally work in the UK but you need them to work outside the UK for more than a month at a time, the written statement you give them must include the following details:

  • the currency in which they will be paid
  • the period they will be working outside the UK
  • terms relating to their return to the UK
  • any additional pay or benefits provided by reason of being required to work outside the UK

Whether the written statement is made up of one or more than one document, you must give it to the employee within two months of the start of their employment.

For more information on working outside the UK, see international business travel: employer responsibilities and terms and conditions for workers in other EU countries.

Where there are no details to be given under any heading, you should say so.

You can download our template for a written statement of employment (PDF, 239K) which you can then print off and complete in your own time.

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