Businesses have differing processes that they apply to new starters and this can have an effect on what documentation is given, however, there are certain documents that are required or that can make the new starter process easier.

Under the law, new starters who reach one month’s service are entitled to a written statement which contains the main terms of their employment. This must be provided within two months of employment and has to include required information such as:

  • the name of the employer and employee;
  • the employee’s start date;
  • the job title;
  • details on the annual leave entitlement;
  • details on the rate and frequency of pay;
  • details on the normal hours of work;
  • notice periods for termination; and
  • disciplinary and grievance procedures, or an indication of where these procedures can be found.

This statement is commonly thought of as the contract of employment but it only makes up part of the overall contract as this can include written, spoken and implied terms.

Other information on the terms and conditions of employment, for example absence procedures, holiday request procedure, informations on benefits etc., can be included in a separate employee handbook. This handbook should contain all the policies and procedures which will apply to the new starters. An important piece of HR documentation when supplying handbooks is to receive a signed and dated notice that the employee has read and understood the handbook. This can later be used as evidence of the employee’s knowledge during actions such as disciplining or tribunal claims.

Business may find it useful to include an induction checklist in the documentation which is given to new starters. This will provide an all-inclusive list of matters which should be covered during the induction process and can include areas which may easily be forgotten, such as showing where the toilet/kitchen facilities are. This will also aid the new starters as they have an initial idea of what will be included in the induction and, if missed, can provide a reminder to them and employers to schedule these matters in. Again, receiving a signed and dated copy of the checklist once complete can be used as evidence if there is a dispute as to what the new starter process has included.

If you need any clarification on this issue then contact the Peninsula Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.