Basic Employment Conditions

Employment Contract

It’s important that small business owners are aware of the legislation relating to basic employment conditions when taking on new staff.

Offers of employment

Verbal offers of employment are legally binding

It’s against the law to request information regarding an applicant’s health, sickness record or disability before making an offer.

You should make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment and selection process for any employees declaring a disability.

Employment offers can be subject to any pre-employment checks, such as:

  • References
  • Medicals
  • Qualifications
  • Professional memberships
  • DBS checks
  • The right of applicants to work in the UK

It is strongly advised that offers of employment, including pre-employment clauses which may result in an offer being withdrawn, are put in writing to the prospective employee.

Minimum wage

From 1 April 2021

  • For employees of 25 years’ and over£8.92 per hour
  • For employees 21 – 24 years’ – £8.36 per hour
  • For employees 18-20 years’ – £6.56 per hour
  • For employees under 18 years’ old outside compulsory school- £4.62
  • For apprentices – £4.30 per hour

Holiday entitlements

UK statutory holiday entitlements are as follows:

  • Full-time employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 working weeks (28 days) per annum. This can include the 8 public holidays. Holiday entitlements are pro-rata for part-time staff.
  • Casual/temporary workers and employees on zero-hours contracts are also entitled to pro-rata holiday leave for each hour worked up to the full-time equivalent.
  • Part-time employees are also entitled to receive additional pro-rata holiday for each hour of paid overtime received up to the full-time equivalent.
  • If employees are required to work on a public holiday they must receive the statutory compensation of paid time AND time off in lieu.

You can use the Government’s holiday leave calculator to calculate holiday entitlement .

Sick pay entitlements – normal sickness

As at April 2021 the rate for statutory sick pay (SSP) is £96.35 per week for up to 28 weeks.

SSP is paid for the days an employee normally works, known as “qualifying days”.

SSP is payable when the employee has been off sick for at least 4 working days, starting from the 4th day of absence (including non-working days). The 1st 3 days of sickness absence are unpaid.

GP Fit Notes are required to cover sickness from the 8thconsecutive day of absence.

You can use the Government’s SSP calculator to calculate the amount of sick pay due .

Minimum employer notice periods

During the 1st month of employment, there is no statutory obligation to provide notice to an employee.

After 1 month’s employment, and for the 1st 2 years, employers must provide at least 1 weeks’ notice when terminating employment.

After 2 years’ employment, employers must provide AT LEAST an additional weeks’ notice for each year of employment, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.

It is also important to remember that a fair and legal procedure must be followed prior to any termination. 

Minimum employee notice periods

After an employee has been with you a month, they must give you a minimum of 1 weeks’ notice.

The minimum statutory employee notice period doesn’t increase with their length of service.

Redundancy pay

All employees are entitled to be treated fairly and a transparent redundancy selection procedure and right to consultation applies from day one.

Following 2 years continuous service employees are also entitled to redundancy pay.

Redundancy entitlements vary according to an employee’s age and length of service.

Employee redundancy pay entitlements are as follows:

  • 21 years’ and under – ½ weeks’ pay for each full year of continuous service
  • 22-40 years’ old – 1 weeks’ pay for each full year of continuous service
  • Aged 41 and over – 1 ½ weeks’ pay for each full year of continuous service
  • From April 2021, statutory redundancy pay is capped at £544 per week.
  • The length of service is capped at 20 years, so the maximum number of weeks payable is 30 i.e. 20 years’ x 1.5 weeks. 
  • The first £30,000 of redundancy pay is paid GROSS and should not be subject to normal deductions.

If you need advice on your legal obligations as an employer or managing relationships with  your team please get in touch.  Contact Debbie today, Telephone: 01278 802329. Email:

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