Contracts of Employment Act 1972

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1972 c. 53


Contracts of EmploymentAct 1972

1972 CHAPTER 53

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to contracts of employment.

[27th July 1972]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Minimum period of notice

Minimum period of notice

S-1 The rights of employer and employee to a minimum period of notice.

1 The rights of employer and employee to a minimum period of notice.

(1) The notice required to be given by an employer to terminate the contract of employment of a person who has been continuously employed for thirteen weeks or more—

(a ) shall be not less than one week's notice if his period of continuous employment is less than two years,

(b ) shall be not less than two weeks' notice if his period of continuous employment is two years or more but less than five years,

(c ) shall be not less than four weeks' notice if his period of continuous employment is five years or more but less than ten years,

(d ) shall be not less than six weeks' notice if his period of continuous employment is ten years or more but less than fifteen years, and

(e ) shall be not less than eight weeks' notice if his period of continuous employment is fifteen years or more.

(2) The notice required to be given by an employee who has been continuously employed for thirteen weeks or more to terminate his contract of employment shall be not less than one week.

(3) Any provision for shorter notice in any contract of employment with a person who has been continuously employed for thirteen weeks or more shall have effect subject to the foregoing subsections, but this section shall not be taken to prevent either party from waiving his right to notice on any occasion, or from accepting a payment in lieu of notice.

(4) Any contract of employment of a person who has been continuously employed for thirteen weeks or more which is a contract for a term certain of four weeks or less shall have effect as if it were for an indefinite period and, accordingly, subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall apply to the contract.

(5) Schedule 1 to this Act shall apply for the purposes of this and the next following section for ascertaining the length of an employee's period of employment and whether that period of employment has been continuous.

(6) It is hereby declared that this section does not affect any right of either party to treat the contract as terminable without notice by reason of such conduct by the other party as would have enabled him so to treat it before the passing of this Act.

S-2 The rights of employee in period of notice.

2 The rights of employee in period of notice.

(1) If an employer gives notice to terminate the contract of employment of a person who has been continuously employed for thirteen weeks or more, the provisions of Schedule 2 to this Act shall have effect as respects the liability of the employer for the period of notice required by section 1(1) of this Act.

(2) If an employee who has been continuously employed for thirteen weeks or more gives notice to terminate his contract of employment, the provisions of Schedule 2 to this Act shall have effect as respects the liability of the employer for the period of notice required by section 1(2) of this Act.

(3) This section shall not apply in relation to a notice given by the employer or the employee if the notice to be given by the employer to terminate the contract must be at least one week more than the notice required by section 1(1) of this Act.

(4) So far as a contract purports to exclude or limit the obligations imposed on an employer by this section it shall be void.

S-3 Measure of damages in proceedings against employers.

3 Measure of damages in proceedings against employers.

3. If an employer fails to give the notice required by section 1 of this Act, the rights conferred by section 2 of this Act (with Schedule 2 to this Act) shall be taken into account in assessing his liability for breach of the contract.

Written particulars of terms of employment

Written particulars of terms of employment

S-4 Written particulars of terms of employment.

4 Written particulars of terms of employment.

(1) Not later than thirteen weeks after the beginning of an employee's period of employment with an employer, the employer shall give to the employee a written statement identifying the parties, specifying the date when the employment began, and giving the following particulars of the terms of employment as at a specified date not more than one week before the statement is given, that is—

(a ) the scale or rate of remuneration, or the method of calculating remuneration,

(b ) the intervals at which remuneration is paid (that is, whether weekly or monthly or by some other period),

(c ) any terms and conditions relating to hours of work (including any terms and conditions relating to normal working hours),

(d ) any terms and conditions relating to—

(i) entitlement to holidays, including public holidays, and holiday pay (the particulars given being sufficient to enable the employee's entitlement, including any entitlement to accrued holiday pay on the termination of employment, to be precisely calculated),

(ii) incapacity for work due to sickness or injury, including any provisions for sick pay,

(iii) pensions and pension schemes, and

(e ) the length of notice which the employee is obliged to give and entitled to receive to determine his contract of employment:

Provided that paragraph (d )(iii) of this subsection shall not apply to the employees of any body or authority if the employees' pension rights depend on the terms of a pension scheme established under any provision contained in or having effect under an Act of Parliament and the body or authority are required by any such provision to give to new employees information concerning their pension rights, or concerning the determination of questions affecting their pension rights.

(2) Every statement given to an employee under subsection (1) of this section shall include a note—

(a ) indicating the nature of the employee's rights under section 5 of the Industrial Relations Act 1971 (which relates to the rights of workers in respect of trade union membership and activities) including, where an agency shop agreement or an approved closed shop agreement is in force which applies to him, the effect of that agreement on those rights, and

(b ) specifying by description or otherwise a person to whom the employee can apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to his employment, and the manner in which any such application should be made, and

(c ) either explaining the steps consequent upon any such application or referring to a document which is reasonably accessible to the employee and which explains those steps,

and any reference in subsection (5) of this section, in subsections (1) or (3) of section 5 of this Act or in subsections (1) to (6) of section 8 of this Act to that which is, or is to be, included, given or referred to in a statement under subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as including a reference to a note under this subsection, and any reference to that which is, or is to be, included, given or referred to in a statement under section 5(1) of this Act shall be construed accordingly.

(3) If there are no particulars to be entered under any of the heads of paragraph (d ) or under any of the other provisions of subsection (1) of this section, that fact shall be stated.

(4) If the contract is for a fixed term, the statement given under subsection (1) of this section shall state the date when the contract expires.

(5) A statement given under subsection (1) of this section may, for all or any of the particulars to be given by the statement, refer the employee to some document which the employee has reasonable opportunities of reading in the course of his employment or which is made reasonably accessible to him in some other way.

(6) If not more than six months after the termination of an employee's period of employment, a further period of employment is begun with the same employer, and the terms of employment are the same, no statement need be given under subsection (1) of this section in respect of the second period of employment, but without prejudice to the operation of subsection (1) of the next following section if there is a change in the terms of employment.

(7) No account shall be taken under this section of employment during any period when the hours of employment are normally less than twenty-one hours weekly, and this section shall apply to an employee who at any time comes or ceases to come within the exception in this subsection as if a period of employment terminated or began at that time.

S-5 Changes in terms of employment.

5 Changes in terms of employment.

(1) If after the date to which a statement given under section 4(1) of this Act relates there is a change in the terms of employment to be included, or referred to, in that statement, the employer shall, not more than one month after the change, inform the employee of the nature of the change by a written statement and, if he does not leave a copy of the statement with the employee, shall preserve the statement and ensure that the employee has reasonable opportunities of reading it in the course of his employment, or that it is made reasonably accessible to him in some other way.

(2) A statement given under subsection (1) of this section may, for all or any of the particulars to be given by the statement, refer the employee to some document which the employee has...

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