Kate Brooks

Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services

DATE PUBLISHED: 30 Jan 2020 LAST UPDATED: 30 May 2022

DAY ONE entitlement to a written employment contract

Currently all employees are entitled to receive written terms and conditions within 2 months of starting work.

From 6th April 2020, all employees will be entitled to receive this written statement on DAY ONE!

In addition all workers, which include zero hour contract workers, will be entitled to receive basic written information by day one.

If you have existing employees or workers who do not have a contract in place, they can request such a statement which must be provided in one month.

If you fail to provide written terms to an employee or worker, they can apply to the Employment Tribunal for a declaration of what their terms are. They can also ask for compensation of between 2 and 4 weeks pay. The legislation may not have sharp teeth, however there are also commercial benefits to providing written terms and conditions by day one:

1. Professional – the employer will appear far more professional and the employee will see you know what you are doing;

2. Clarity – there is far less likely to be a dispute over what the terms are in reality; and

3. Protection – there are various obligations that will need to be set out in a contract i.e. confidentiality, repayment clauses and any future restrictions on the employee.

I suggest that employers should update their on-boarding processes and ensure that contracts are provided by day one. If you need help drafting an employment contract or related policy, please contact our experienced Employment Lawyers or Business Services Lawyers on 01202 525333.


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