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Employment law is a continually evolving area of law and involves, at times, complicated legal precedents and rules.

However, there are some essential points that both employers and employees should be aware of.

The right to a written statement of employment particulars

All employers must issue employees with a written statement of the main contractual provisions of their employment within two months of the employee commencing employment. Of course, it is the case that many employees still do not have written terms and conditions in place, and this is something that any business should seek to do as soon as possible, The McKinstry Company are always well placed to assist businesses with their needs in this area.

The statement of particulars must, under the Employment Rights Act 1996 contain certain information, including:
• Names of employer and employee
• Date employment commenced
• Salary and when this will be paid

It should also contain provisions relating to sick pay, holiday pay and pension entitlements – all employees now have the right to be auto-enrolled into a pension scheme and employers should be aware of the auto-enrolment provisions.

The issuing of a written statement of terms and conditions can assist both parties in avoiding disputed and keeping ambiguity out of the employment relationship.

Sick pay

All employees are entitled to sick pay of some kind, be it statutory or enhanced. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is currently paid at the rate of £94.25 per week for a maximum of 28 weeks once the employee has been sick for four days or longer and they earn more than £118 per week, the current Lower Earning Limit for SSP.
Employers can, of course, pay sick pay at a higher rate than SSP if they so choose, and this should be made clear in the written statement of particulars – if nothing is specified in this then the default position is that the statutory regime applies.

Employees can self-certify for their first seven days of absence; thereafter, they need to be covered by a ‘fit note’ (the present terminology for a sick line).

Holiday pay

All employees have a right to 28 days (5.6 weeks) paid annual leave, if full time, or the pro-rata equivalent if part-time. Employers can, of course, offer holidays over and above the statutory minimum and many employers, for example, offer additional days as a bonus for long service.

Contact The McKinstry Company Employment Lawyers in Ayrshire & Dumfries and Galloway

If you are an employer or an employee with concerns over employment rights, please get in contact with The McKinstry Company on 01292 388048 (Ayr office), 01465 915042 (Girvan office) or complete our online contact form. We’re here to help.

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