When you accept an offer of a job and begin work, you have a legally enforceable contract of employment. This contract can be verbal or written. Within two months of starting the job you have the right to a written statement of particulars that includes the main conditions of employment.
This must specify:
The business’s name
The employee’s name, job title, description of work and start date
If a previous job or role counts towards a period of continuous employment, the date that period started
The rate and frequency of pay
Hours of work
Place of work
If working in different places, where these will be and what the employer’s address is
How long a temporary job is expected to last
The end date of a fixed term contract
Any collective agreements that exist
Who to go to with a grievance
How to complain about the handling of a grievance
How to complain about a disciplinary or dismissal decision
What you can do if you do not receive written statement
Any new (after 2 months) or existing employee not in receipt of a written statement of employment particulars can:
Request this from their employer
Take out a grievance
Refer the matter to an employment tribunal
This can be done at any time while working for the employer, or within 3 months of the employment relationship ending.
Changes to a contract of employment
As a contract of employment is an agreement between you and an employer it cannot be changed without your consent. However, an employer might seek to vary part of the contract, or even terminate it and issue you with a new one.
If your employer imposes a significant change you can:
Accept the change
Object to the change, and continue to work under protest and bring a claim for breach of contract
Leave and claim constructive dismissal (NB Always contact your UCATT Regional Office for advice before you take action). This should only be done in exceptional circumstances.
Even if the employer gives proper notice of changes, one week for every full year of employment, up to twelve weeks, you may still be able to bring forward a claim for a breach of your contract if they failed to act reasonably. They must also prove that they had a substantial reason for imposing the change.
For any contractual employment issue its important in the first instance to get in touch with your local shop steward or regional office and speak to an experienced UCATT official.
Guide: Blacklisting and public procurement
Our new guide seeks to assist UCATT members in lobbying to stop public contracts going to firms that have blacklisted workers and have not made up for it. Download the Blacklisting & Public Procurement Guide now.