Written Statement - terms and conditions of employment

Key points

  • Most employees are legally entitled to a written statement containing the main terms and conditions of employment within two months of starting work.
  • If an employee has a problem receiving a written statement they could make a claim at an employment tribunal.
  • The written statement must contain certain information, such as pay, holiday entitlement, working hours etc in a single document (see below).
  • Other information such a sick leave and discipline and grievance procedures may be contained in other documents (see below).

Written statement is a legally binding agreement between employer and employee, which is formed when an employee agrees to work for an employer in return for pay. Employers are legally required to put some of the main particulars of employment in writing. It is not itself a contract of employment but is evidence of the contract of employment.

Employers are required to give the written statement to employees within two months of starting work, ideally on their first day. Employers can issue the written statement in instalments. The following key information must be included in a single document which is known as the "principal statement".

  • Name of employer and employee.
  • Date employment and continuous employment started.
  • Job location.
  • Pay and whether it's weekly, monthly etc.
  • Working hours.
  • Holiday entitlement.
  • Job description / job title.
  • Details of any collective agreement that directly affect the employee's conditions of employment.

For details on the following information employers may provide other documents such and staff handbooks, or staff intranet sites for:

  • sick leave and pay entitlement
  • pensions and pension schemes
  • disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • appeals procedure under the disciplinary and grievance procedures.

If an employee does not receive a written statement they should try to resolve the matter informally in the first instance, however, if this doesn't work they should raise a formal grievance. As a last resort employees could make a claim to an employment tribunal, where the tribunal could award compensation, which could be 2 - 4 week's pay.

Claimants who wish to bring a claim to the tribunal or appeal tribunal will have to pay a fee. An initial fee will be paid to issue a claim and a further fee will be payable if the claim proceeds to hearing. There are two levels of fee which will depend on the type of claim. Further information is available from Ministry of Justice - Employment Tribunal guidance.

Contracts and terms and conditions - Acas business solutions

We can visit your organisation to help you understand what needs to be done to address a range of issues related to contracts and hours and then work with you to develop practical solutions. We can help you with developing terms and conditions of employment and we can help with introducing shift systems, flexible working and annualised hours. Acas also helps organisations effectively manage the HR implications of acquisitions or mergers. Find out more from Contracts and hours: how Acas can help.

Acas Helpline Online

Helpline Online is a database of frequently asked employment queries and has been developed to help both employees and employers. It is an automated system which is designed to give you a straightforward answer to your employment relations questions, and also gives links to further advice and guidance on our website. Thousands of people use Helpline Online to find answers to their queries each week.