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Should an employee have a contract by the first day of work?

on Wednesday, 26 May 2021. Posted in Employment

By Dee Woodcock

Is it true that I must have a written contract of employment in place on the first day an employee or worker starts at my business?

Yes, as from 6 April 2020, employees and workers should have a written statement of employment particulars from their employer on or before their first day of employment. Previously a statement or contract had to be given to employees no later than two months after their employment had begun.

The written statement must now ensure it includes details about:

  • the hours and days of the week the worker or employee is required to work and whether they may be varied and how;
  • entitlements to any paid leave;
  • any other benefits not covered elsewhere in the written statement;
  • any probationary period;
  • any training provided by the employer.

In addition, employers should be aware that the period used to calculate a week’s pay for holiday purposes has increased from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks.

As employers have largely been focussed on managing their existing workforce during the pandemic and getting to grips with the Furlough Scheme since then, many employers have overlooked this important change in the law.

Employers should:

  • review whether they have statements of employment particulars for all employees.
  • ensure that they have up-to-date statements for all new employees and workers starting with them.
  • issue a statement to all employees or workers who have started work with them since 6 April 2020.

At Sampson Coward we can review your existing statement of employment particulars/contract and ensure you have the appropriate documentation in place.

Please contact Dee on 01722 820934 or David on 01722 820935, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Dee Woodcock