Coming Soon – Important Changes to Employment Contracts

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From 6th April 2020 a number of important changes will come into effect regarding the information an Employee receives when starting employment or where existing Employees varies their contract.  These changes are part of a range of Government initiatives known as the ‘Good Work Plan’.

Currently Employers have up to 2 months to issue a written statement of employment particulars – often referred to as the employment contract.  From 6th April this will become a day one right for all Employees and workers. 

Additional information will also need to be provided within the statement to include:

  • The days of the week required to work and whether they may be variable
  • Terms and conditions relating to all paid leave other than sickness and annual leave eg family leave / discretionary leave
  • Details of any probationary period
  • Details of any contractual or non-contractual benefits such as health insurance / vouchers
  • Details of any training entitlement provided by the employer which is compulsory whether or not this is paid by the employer

SPS has sought legal advice on these changes to ensure compliance with these new requirements whilst not placing undue administrative burden on Schools / Academies. Revised contract templates will be issued for all appointments and variations starting after 6th April 2020.

However the new requirements will necessitate the following changes to our current working practices:

New Appointments

Schools / Academies are advised to allow sufficient lead in time when making new appointments to ensure new employee information is provided in good time to enable the contract of employment to be issued by SPS on or before the start date of employment.  This requirement applies to both permanent and temporary appointments as well as Employees engaged on a casual or supply basis.

In addition, Schools / Academies will need to provide details of the days of the week an Employee with contracted hours will work when submitting the appointment e form since this will need to be stated within the statement of particulars issued. 

There is no requirement to notify SPS of working days in the case of supply or casual staff where the inherent nature of their employment means they have an irregular pattern of work.

Variations

From 6th April in addition to the current circumstances where SPS needs to be made aware of changes to employment, Schools / Academies will also need to notify SPS to any changes to contracted working days.  This should be done via the variation e form.  

Where an existing Employee’s contract varies after 6th April they also have the right to receive the additional information required after this date.  To ensure compliance with the new requirements SPS will therefore change its current practice and issue all Employees with a full revised statement of particulars rather than the current variation letter – regardless of the nature of the change that takes place.

When submitting a variation instruction for a change effective after 6th April, Schools / Academies will also need to confirm the Employee’s days of work, regardless whether these are changing, in order to ensure this information is captured within the revised statement that is issued.

Schools / Academies are advised to ensure they make SPS aware of any variations as soon as possible however it should be noted that employers have 1 month in which to provide written confirmation of any changes to the contract of an existing Employee.

We will notify schools once the new e forms and contract templates are available – in the meantime please contact us should you have any questions.