Employment Law What You Need To Know

A summary of the changes in employment law coming into effect from April 2020

Despite the difficult times we find ourselves in at present with Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and the problems this is causing for many businesses, there are still various changes to employment legislation due to be implemented from 6th April 2020 that we need to be aware of.

Below is a summary of these changes and what you will need to do to ensure your business is keeping up to date.

Written statement of employment particulars

From 6th April 2020 it will be compulsory for employers to provide a written contract on day 1 or before for all new employees and workers.

What do employers need to prepare for the written statements (sometimes called section 1 statements)?

• Written statements will need to be provided to all workers. At present only employees are entitled to this.
• The written statement will become a day one right. In simple terms any worker employed on or before 6th April 2020 will be entitled to a written statement on or before their start date. Currently this right only comes into force after an employee has a month’s service.
• More information will need to be included in the written statements. It will be not be necessary to apply these changes to current staff employed before April however from 6th April all current staff will be entitled to request a written statement including the additional information. As an employer you will have 1 month in which to provide this.


What happens if employers don’t comply?
Employees and workers will not be able to bring a standalone claim against their employer for failure to provide them with a written statement. However were the employee or worker to bring a separate claim, be successful in the employment tribunal and are able to show they were not provided with a complaint written statement they may be awarded an additional 2-4 weeks’ pay (currently capped at £525/week due to increase slightly on 6th April 2020).
Whilst the penalty for breaching this requirement is quite small the total cost may be significant if a large workforce all brings claims as part of some other litigation.

Minimum wage

There is to be an increase in national living wage on 1st April 2020. For workers aged 25 and over it increases to £8.72 per hour; workers aged 21 to 24 will see their hourly rate rise to £8.20; workers aged 18 to 20 will see an increase to £6.45 and those workers aged 16 to 17 will see a rise to 4.55.

The Apprentice National Minimum Wage will be increased to £4.15 for those aged up to 19 or those in their first year of an apprenticeship.  

Adequate records of all payments must be kept so organisations can show they have complied with national minimum wage rules..

Statutory family-related pay and statutory sick pay

The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £151.20 from 5 April 2020.
The weekly rate of statutory sick pay will rise to £95.85 from 6 April 2020.
Policies and documents that mention the rates, such as their maternity policies and sickness absence procedures will need to be reviewed.

In the wake of coronavirus (Covid-19), the Government has introduced measures requiring employers to pay statutory sick pay from the first day of an employee’s sickness, rather than after three days.

Parental bereavement leave

This act is expected to come into force in April 2020 and will entitle employees who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from the 24th week of pregnancy, to two weeks’ unpaid leave, as a right from day one of their employment.

Statutory redundancy pay calculations

Employers who make a member of staff redundant must pay these with 2 years service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, age and length of service. The weekly pay is based on a maximum amount which is £538 from 6th April 2020.

Holiday Pay

As part of the Good Work Plan the government promised to improve the holiday pay for seasonal workers. In order to make this happen the period of time for determining an average week’s pay will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. In the case of workers who have been employed for less than 52 weeks, the number of complete weeks for which they have been employed will be used.

Extension of IR35 to private sector

The changes to the IR35tax rules were due to come into effect on 6th April 2020 but the good news is they have now been delayed until next year!
When they do take effect medium and large sized private businesses will become responsible for assessing the employment status of their off-payroll workers. This simply comes down to cost as the government estimates the cost in lost tax revenue due to non-compliance with off pay-roll working rules in the private sector will reach £1.3 billion a year by 2023/24.

Agency Workers – Swedish Derogation Appeal

The Swedish Derogation currently allows employers to avoid pay parity (after 12 weeks) between agency workers and direct employees if certain conditions are met. This is going to change and by no later than 30 April 2020, temporary work agencies must provide agency workers whose existing contract contains a Swedish derogation provision with a written statement advising that, with effect from 6 April, those provisions no longer apply.

Additionally temporary work agencies must provide agency workers with information on the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay, how they will be paid and by whom in a Key Information Document.

Third gender pay gap reporting deadline

If you are a business with 250 or more employees you should be in the process of finalising your gender pay gap reports. The deadline is 4th April 2020 or 30th March 2020 for public-sector employers. The gender pay gap report should be easily accessible on your website where it must remain for 3 years. It should also be uploaded to the Government’s reporting website. Whilst not required more organisations are choosing to add a commentary to put the numbers in context.

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Should you have any questions or queries feel free to contact us directly.

 

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