A hotel employee who was dismissed after only six weeks should have received a statement of employment particulars, according to a recent decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT).
There is no legal requirement for an employee to have a written contract of employment. However, under the Employment Rights Act 1996, an employee who is employed for a month or more must be given a written statement setting out the main terms of their employment. The statement must be provided within 2 months of the start of employment. In certain conditions, employees who do not receive a statement may be awarded up to 4 weeks’ pay as compensation.
Facts of the case
The Claimant worked at a hotel. When she complained about not getting her correct wage or an accurate pay slip, she was summarily dismissed. At the time of her dismissal she had worked at the hotel for just 6 weeks.
An employment tribunal upheld the Claimant’s complaint that she had been automatically unfairly dismissed because she had asserted a statutory right to receive a pay slip. However, it dismissed her additional claim for an award of 4 weeks’ pay for not having been given a statement of employment particulars, ruling that she was not entitled to a statement as her employment had ended before the employer had to provide the statement under the ERA 1996.
The Claimant appealed. The EAT ruled that the tribunal was wrong. It said that employers must give a statement of employment particulars to any employee who has worked for them for a month, even if the employee’s employment ends before the time at which the employer must provide the statement. The Claimant was entitled to a statement and to an award of compensation for not having been given a statement.
Currently there is an exception to the right to receive a statement of employment particulars for employees who work for less than 1 month. That is due to be repealed on 6th April 2020. From then, every new worker, including agency staff and those on zero-hours contracts, will be entitled to a statement of their employment particulars from day one in their role.
Stefanko and others v Maritime Hotel Ltd
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