Employment contracts

Written statement of employment particulars

An employer must give employees and workers a document stating the main conditions of employment when they start work. This is known as a ‘written statement of employment particulars’. It is not an employment contract.

The written statement is made up of:

  • the main document (known as a ‘principal statement’)
  • a wider written statement

The employer must provide the principal statement on the first day of employment and the wider written statement within 2 months of the start of employment.

Employers must tell employees or workers about any changes to the written statement. They must do this within one month of making the change.

There are special rules for agencies on documents that they need to provide to agency workers.

The principal statement

The principal statement must include at least:

  • the employer’s name
  • the employee’s or worker’s name, job title or a description of work and start date
  • how much and how often an employee or worker will get paid
  • hours and days of work and if and how they may vary (also if employees or workers will have to work Sundays, nights or overtime)
  • holiday entitlement (and if that includes public holidays)
  • where an employee or worker will be working and whether they might have to relocate
  • if an employee or worker works in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is
  • how long a job is expected to last (and what the end date is if it’s a fixed-term contract)
  • how long any probation period is and what its conditions are
  • any other benefits (for example, childcare vouchers and lunch)
  • obligatory training, whether or not this is paid for by the employer

For employees, it must also include the date that a previous job started if it counts towards a period of continuous employment.

Working abroad

If an employee or worker has to work outside the UK for more than a month, the principal statement must also include:

  • how long they’ll be abroad
  • what currency they’ll be paid in
  • what additional pay or benefits they’ll get
  • terms relating to their return to the UK

Other information the employer must give on day one

On the first day of employment the employer must also provide the employee or worker with information about:

  • sick pay and procedures
  • other paid leave (for example, maternity leave and paternity leave)
  • notice periods

The employer can choose whether to include this information in the principal statement or provide it in a separate document. If they provide it in a separate document, this must be something that the employee or worker has reasonable access to, such as on the employer’s intranet.

The wider written statement

Employers must give employees and workers a wider written statement within 2 months of the start of employment. This must include information about:

  • pensions and pension schemes
  • collective agreements
  • any other right to non-compulsory training provided by the employer
  • disciplinary and grievance procedures
  1. Step 1 Check your business is ready to employ staff

  2. Step 2 Recruit someone

    You need to advertise the role and interview candidates. You can use a recruitment agency to do this or do it yourself.

    1. Find out about recruiting someone yourself on Acas
    2. Find out about using a recruitment agency

    As an employer you must make sure you recruit employees fairly.

    1. Avoid discrimination during recruitment
    2. Make your application process accessible for employees with disabilities or health conditions
  3. and Check they have the right to work in the UK

  4. and Find out if they need a DBS check

    You may need to check someone's criminal record, for example, if they'll be working in healthcare or with children.

    1. Find out if you need a DBS check
    2. How to do a DBS check
  5. Step 3 Check if they need to be put into a workplace pension

    Check if you need to put your employee into a workplace pension scheme:

  6. Step 4 Agree a contract and salary

  7. Step 5 Tell HMRC about your new employee