Provision of Statement of Main Terms
It is a requirement that all employees have a Statement of Main Terms (SMT) on the first day of their employment. Historically it was within 8 weeks of their start date, but it is now required before they start.
Right to Work in the UK
The right to work in the United Kingdom must also be checked before any employee or worker does any work at all. It is not sufficient to just view the documentation or to copy it, a formal record must be kept by every employer of the date and time the checks were done and who did the check. Some checks have to be completed via the Home Office and approval received before the person is eligible to do any work. Eligibility may come to an end, so a clear record of this must also be maintained.
There has been an expansion of what is required to go into the SMT for a worker’s contract. The SMT must, in addition to names of the parties, role and brief job description, start date, place of work, rate of pay and payment terms; and holiday entitlement, now also include:
- Details of likely duration of the job.
- Specific days and times the person is expected to work.
- Length and conditions of any probationary period.
- Length of period of notice.
- Eligibility for sick leave and pay.
- Details of other types of leave e.g. maternity/paternity/adoptive leave.
- All remuneration (not just basic pay).
- Any training entitlement provided by the employer.
Where a worker’s pay varies, calculating holiday entitlement can be complicated. This may come about due to them working varying hours/days or working ad hoc hours. Traditionally holiday entitlement was calculated by reference to a 12 week period. This has changed so that holiday entitlement must be calculated with a 52 week reference period.
In September 2021 the government announced plans to overhaul tipping practices to ensure that all service charges and tips collected in the hospitality industry are passed in full to the staff. The proposed tipping legislation will also set out a statutory code of practice on the fairness and transparency of distribution of the tips. Workers will also have the right to request information about tipping and to request sight of the employer’s tipping records.
National Minimum Wage
Minimum rates of pay were increased from 1st April 2022 and are now as follows. It is important that these are observed as failure to do so can lead not only to claims by the employee/worker but can also lead to fines and financial penalties.
The current figures are:
National Living Wage £9.50
21-22 Year Old Rate £9.18
18-20 Year Old Rate £6.83
16-17 Year Old Rate £4.81
It is important to keep a distinction between the contractual provisions set out in contract for employees and workers and any non-contractual policies and procedures which are best compiled into a Staff Handbook. The Handbook can then be regularly updated so the business can keep up to date with any changes in policy or company requirements or to reflect any change in legal obligations. What is important is that the Handbook is in fact regularly reviewed and updated and not just put into a drawer and forgotten. It must be given to, or be made available to, all of the staff and any amendments drawn to their attention, so that they are aware of its content and their obligations under its terms.
If you would like any guidance in respect of taking on employees; reviewing or updating your employment contracts, policies and procedures or Staff Handbooks, do please get in touch with one of the Employment Team.