The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 was passed on 25 December 2018. It came into force on 26 March 2019.
The Act makes changes to the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 and the Organization of Working Time Act 1997. The most important of these to employers are likely to be:
1.Provision of 5 core terms within 5 days of starting work
Section 3(1A) in the 1994 Act makes it mandatory for an employer to provide the employee with five core terms of employment within five days of the commencement of the employment.
Previously, the 1994 Act required 16 terms of employment to be provided to a new employee within two months of the start date of employment.
The five core terms are:
- Full name of the employer and employee
- Address of the employer
- Duration of the contract
- Rate or method of calculating pay and the pay reference period, and
- Expectation of what the normal length of the employee’s working day and week will be
The obligation to provide the remaining 11 terms of employment within two months still exists.
2.Restriction on use of zero hour contracts
Section 15 of the Act substitutes the text of section 18 of the 1997 Act to prohibit zero hour contracts, except in situations of genuine casual employment where they are essential to allow employers to provide cover in emergency situations, or to cover short-term absence. It also provides for a minimum payment for employees who are sent home without any work done under these contracts.
3.Default minimum hours of work per week
In case an employment contract does not specify the actual number of hours to be worked per week by an employee over a reference period, the employee is entitled to be placed in the band of hours under the table in section 18A of the 1997 Act.