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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 75108
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Is it illegal to employ someone without giving them a

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Is it illegal to employ someone without giving them a contract first?
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: Employees
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The employee is live in, on a salary and has been expected to work from 7am to 10pm at night with no break and no time off for over two weeks. The employee is a British citizen and so are the employers. This person is now leaving the business, a privately owned hotel and I am terrified that these people are going to be trying to force me to do what this other person was doing (I moved there as a live in two weeks ago and have already had to ask multiple times for my wages to be paid before they were, two days late.) Another employee told me she's regularly been paid late, sometimes up to two days prior to her subsequent pay check.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi Ben, this is now my fourth week of residency with this employer

Thank you very much for clarifying. An employer has a legal obligation, under Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, to issue what is known as a ‘written statement of employment particulars’ as soon as an employee starts working for them. That statement is not necessarily a contract in itself, but most employment contracts will contain what must be in the statement of employment particulars.

The following must be included in the statement:

- the employer’s name

- the employee’s name

- the start date of employment

- the date that ‘continuous employment’ (working for the same employer without a significant break) started for an employee

- job title, or a brief description of the job

- the employer’s address

- the places or addresses where the employee will work

- pay, including how often and when it will be paid

- working hours, including which days the employee must work and if and how their hours or days can change

- holiday and holiday pay, including an explanation of how its calculated if the employee leaves

- the amount of sick leave and pay

- any other paid leave

- any other benefits, including non-contractual benefits such as childcare vouchers or company car schemes

- the notice period either side must give when employment ends

- how long the job is expected to last (if it’s temporary or fixed term)

- any probation period, including its conditions and how long it is

- if the employee will work abroad, and any terms that apply

- training that must be completed by the employee, including training the employer does not pay for

Failure to use such a statement, or a contract which contains these requirements, is a breach of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The employee could potentially challenge the employer over it and make a claim for compensation in the Employment Tribunal, equivalent to a minimum of 2 weeks’ and a maximum of 4 weeks’ pay. However, to be able to claim, another substantive claim must be submitted first, such as for unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, or discrimination.

As to the employer potentially asking you to fill in the other person’s duties, there is nothing topping them from doing so but you can of course refuse. The issue is that doing so could result in you being dismissed, which they can easily do as you need 2 years service to be protected against unfair dismissal.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you for the clarification, this helps significantly.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best

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