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Date:
09 Nov 2010

an employer was unable to prove that a former employee had been provided with an employment contract, and was ordered to pay about eur 1 350 in compensation.

An employer was unable to prove that a former employee had been provided with an employment contract, and was ordered to pay about EUR 1 350 in compensation.
 
Employers should make sure to get employees to acknowledge receipt when a statement of employment particulars is issued. Otherwise, they may face an uphill struggle in court, as can be seen from this case from the Danish High Court.
 
A driver was given notice of termination only a short time into his employment. After the notice period had ended, the driver believed he was entitled to compensation for never being issued with a statement of particulars.
 
His employer disagreed and was backed by the employee who was normally in charge of handing out statements of particulars to employees. The driver’s statement of particulars had been placed in his tray shortly after he was hired, according to the employee.
 
Missing statement of particulars came out to the driver’s benefit
The Court held by a majority that the driver was entitled to about EUR 1 350 in compensation, equivalent to approx. 2 weeks’ pay, because the employer was unable to prove that the driver had been issued with a statement of particulars before being given notice. The Court took into account that the employer had failed to do enough to secure proof that the driver had actually received the employment contract.
 
In setting the compensation amount, the Court had regard to the relatively short employment period, on the one hand, and on the other the tangible effect that the lack of a statement of particulars had had for the driver on one occasion when he demanded overtime pay.

 

Norrbom Vinding notes

  • that the case reinforces the importance for employers of securing the employee’s acknowledgment of receipt when handing out a statement of particulars; and

  • that the award level of the High Court still remains at between 2 to 6 weeks’ pay.