Over half of grooms (55%) have admitted not having a written contract of employment, a recent survey has revealed. The British Grooms Association (BGA) and Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) described this as a “deeply concerning” statistic which demonstrates that the equestrian industry remains a place where “too many yards are ignoring the most basic employment legislation”.

Seventy five percent of those in a part time or zero hours position stated they do not have a written contract. The organisations launched their Good Employment Week with a campaign focused on both employers and grooms ‘putting their hands up’ to such stark realities and inform them to ‘wise up’.

“It disappointingly appears we have a long way to go before we can say our industry is a place of Good Employment,” said BGA and EEA Executive Director, Lucy Katan. “The first question the HMRC ask when conducting an investigation is evidence of the written contract. By not having one, employers are putting their hands up to adhering to non-compliance. The lack of written contract is often a red flag for other employment issues within the workplace.

“Over 4,000 contracts have been produced using the EEA Contract Creator online tool, so why are so many employers putting their businesses at risk when an affordable solution exists. I think we are past the point of saying employers aren’t aware that it is a legal requirement.”

Credit: Ailsa Bee Photogrography

It is a legal requirement for all employers to provide a written statement of the terms of employment, often referred to as a ‘written contract’, on or before employment begins. The research identified that 63 percent of those who had not been given one had been in employment for over one year.

The BGA advises all grooms to not start a position of employment without the contract provided in advance of day one. “The conversation is always more difficult to have once employment has started”, they added.

Find out more about Good Employment Week and access bespoke guidance and online tools here.

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