10 Feb 2019

Stefanko and others v Maritime Hotel Ltd (in voluntary liquidation) and another UKEAT/0024/18

Facts

The claimants were employed by the Maritime Hotel as waiting staff. They had all been employed for a few months and had not been given written particulars of employment. One employee – who had been employed for six weeks - objected to a shortfall in her wages, late payment of wages and falsification of her payslips. She was dismissed and asserted a statutory right. Her claim for automatic unfair dismissal was successful. The ET declined to increase her award by two to four weeks' pay for a failure to provide a written statement, as she did not have two months' employment.

Decision

The EAT held that the ET was incorrect. An employer has two months in which to provide a statement but an employee has a right to a statement if they have worked continuously for at least one month. The claimant was therefore entitled to a written statement and an increased award.

Comment

This is a reminder to employers who engage employees on short term contracts that they have to provide a written statement if the employee works for them for one month or more, and they may have to pay compensation if they fail to do so. There is currently an exception for employees who work for less than one month but this will be abolished from 6 April 2020, when all new workers will be entitled to a statement from day one of employment.