There are some major changes to the legal requirements concerning contracts of employment coming into force on 6 April 2020.
What are the main changes?
From 6 April 2020
What this means for you?
Contracts must be issued to both employees and workers
Only employees are legally entitled to a document setting out their basic employment terms
Employers will need to create a template contract for workers and know how to identify who is a worker
The contract must be issued on or before the first day of employment/engagement
Employers have 2 months to provide the paperwork
Employers will need to act faster
Additional detail will need to be included, including details of paid leave entitlements, probationary periods, benefits, training and greater clarity over days and hours of work
There is a shorter list of prescribed information
Employers will need to update their template contracts to ensure all the details are covered
All employees will become entitled to receive the document, regardless of their length of service
Only employees with 1 month or more of service have the entitlement
Employers may need to issue more contracts than they did previously
Who does this apply to?
It will apply to all new joiners, as well as existing employees who are either issued new contractual documentation or who request an updated contract of employment.
What should I do now?
You should update your employment contract template and create a worker contract template so that you can be ready to start issuing them. Whilst there is no legal requirement to start doing this until 6 April 2020, there would be no harm in adopting this practice at an earlier stage.
Statement of basic terms From April 2020, it will not just be employees who are entitled to receive a written document setting out their basic terms, because the right will be extended to workers too. This is a new entitlement that should bring clarity for many workers regarding their contractual terms. Employers currently have two months in which to provide the written particulars to their employees but this will change to become a “day-one” right instead. This will ensure that both parties are clear about the main contractual terms from the outset of the relationship. Further, additional details will need to be included in the documentation, such as details of any paid leave (like maternity or paternity leave), the duration and conditions of any probationary period and information about entitlements to any benefits.