Section 1 Statements

Taking on new staff?  Make sure you know exactly what information you need to provide to new starters on or before their first day of work.

Despite the job losses that the pandemic has caused there has also been good news for companies who have managed to grow during the pandemic or bounced back since restrictions have been lifted. 

The law relating to what needs to be included in a Section 1 statement, and when they should be provided, changed from 6 April 2020.  All employers must provide up to date Section 1 statements to new recruits in order to ensure that all necessary information on the agreed terms is provided, and to avoid any legal challenge at a later date.

What is a Section 1 statement?

There is no legal requirement for an employer to provide a written contract of employment. However, for those starting work on or after 6 April 2020, the law requires the employer to provide both workers and employees with a written "section 1 statement" containing certain information on their terms of employment on or before their first day of employment, subject to some qualifications set out below*. These prescribed particulars can be included in a more lengthy contractual document which satisfies the above legal requirement.

The legislation distinguishes between information which must be provided in a single document and information which can be in a supplementary statement (to which the principal statement refers).

Information which must be provided in a single document

  • The names of the employer and employee/worker
  • The date the employment/engagement starts and for employees only, the period of continuous employment
  • The job title or a description of their work
  • Details of a probationary period (if applicable)
  • Details of non-permanent employment or engagement (e.g. period of fixed-term contract), if applicable
  • Place of work and address
  • Whether the employee/worker is required to work outside of the UK for more than a month (arrangements for working outside the UK including period, currency of pay, additional pay and benefits and return terms)
  • The hours of work, whether the working hours are variable and how any variable will be determined
  • The days of the week the employee/worker is required to work
  • Pay (or method of calculating it), when the payment will be made and how often
  • Details of all benefits including non-contractual benefits
  • Holiday entitlement and pay
  • Notice periods
  • Sick leave and pay
  • Any other paid leave
  • Any entitlement to training provided by the employer and whether this is mandatory and/or paid for
  • Whether there is a contracting-out certificate in force under the Pension Schemes Act 1993

*Information which can be provided in a separate document and no later than two months after commencing employment

  • Details of pension and pension scheme
  • Details of any collective agreements directly affecting terms
  • Any other training entitlement
  • Disciplinary and grievance procedures

What is the penalty for non-compliance?

Employees and workers will not be able to bring a freestanding claim for a failure to provide a written statement. However if they are successful in a separate substantive claim in the employment tribunal, and they are able to show that they were not provided with a compliant written statement, they may be awarded an additional 2 to 4 weeks’ pay (subject to a statutory cap, currently £544/week).

What action should employers be taking? 

Review and determine the employment status of individuals you are planning to engage in order to determine who to give a written statement to before or on their start date.

Review and amend your template agreements for both employees and workers to now include the additional terms that are required to be included in the statement. 

The Employment Team at Talbots Law can provide advice and practical assistance on drafting section 1 statements and contracts of employment.  We have the expertise to provide bespoke contracts of employment to suit your company’s needs.  We also draft and offer advice and assistance on restrictive covenants which are essential for protecting your business.  Please call us on 0800 118 1500 for an initial discussion about your requirements.