Written Particulars of Employment
Every employer is required to give each employee a written statement of particulars of certain terms of their contract of employment no later than two months after the beginning of their employment. The written statement must:
- name the employer and employee;
- specify the date when the employment began and the date on which the employee’s period of continuous employment began;
- specify the scale or rate of remuneration or method of calculating remuneration;
- specify the intervals at which remuneration is paid eg weekly, monthly;
- specify the terms and conditions relating to hours of work, entitlement to holiday, incapacity due to sickness or injury, pensions, length of notice, job title; collective agreements;
- provide certain information about applicable disciplinary and grievance procedures.
Any change in the above matters must be contained in a written statement given to the employee at the earliest opportunity and in any event no later than one month after the change.
If the employer fails to provide a written statement of particulars or to notify employees of changes, it could be liable for an award of between two to four weeks’ salary if the employee successfully brings a claim for unfair dismissal or other claim under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
Employment contracts may contain express provisions seeking to restrain the employee from soliciting clients or employees, or working for competing businesses after the employment has terminated. Whether such a provision would be upheld by the courts would depend on whether the restraint is reasonable in the interests of the parties. The employer will need to demonstrate that the restraint is no wider than is necessary to protect its legitimate business interests. In judging the reasonableness of the restraint, the courts will consider its nature, ambit (geography and proscribed actions) and duration, as well as the seniority and role of the employee at the time the covenant was entered into.
Restrictive covenants should be carefully drafted with the benefit of legal advice to increase the likelihood of enforceability.
Knight-Webb Solicitors have extensive experience of preparing and advising on employment contracts, policies and procedures, as well as restrictive covenants and confidentiality obligations.