Employment Law Updates for 2020

What important UK employment law changes come into effect on 6th April 2020?

Here is a quick overview of the changes that are heading your way. If you have any questions please get in touch with us.

New right to a written statement of terms from Day 1 of employment

  • Currently any employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written ‘statement of terms and conditions’ within two months of their employment commencing.
  • From 6 April 2020, all new employees and workers will have the right to a written statement of particulars from their first day of employment. Additional information that must be included as part of the extended right will include, benefits, paid leave, details of the probation period and training requirements.

Agency workers rules – amendment

  • Currently The Agency Worker Regulations 2010(AWR 2010) entitles agency workers to receive the same pay and basic working conditions as direct recruits once they have completed 12 weeks’ continuous service working in the same role. The ‘Swedish derogation’ currently provides an exemption to the right to equal pay, if agency workers are employed under a permanent contract of employment with a temp agency and are paid by the agency for periods between assignments.

 

  • From 6 April 2020, the Swedish derogation is removed. Once agency workers have satisfied the 12-week qualifying period, they will be entitled to equal pay to workers who are engaged directly by the employer.

On or prior to 30 April 2020, agency workers whose existing contracts contain a Swedish derogation provision must be provided with a written notification by the agency that it will no longer have any effect.

In addition, from 6 April 2020 all agency work-seekers must be provided with a statement setting out the terms under which they will undertake the work.

Changes to IR35 rules for the private sector

  • At present, the IR35 rules apply where an individual (worker) personally performs services for another person (client), through an intermediary (usually a personal service company, or PSC), and if the services were provided under a direct contract, the worker would be regarded for tax purposes as being employed by the client.
  • Currently, it is the intermediary’s responsibility to determine whether IR35 applies.
  • From 6 April 2020, changes to IR35 ruleswill be implemented for medium and large businesses in the private sector and will largely mirror changes that took effect in the public sector in 2017.
  • Under the new regime, for all contracts entered into, or payments made on or after 6 April 2020, the onus will shift from the PSC to the end user client to make a status determination.
  • Responsibility for accounting for tax and national insurance will shift to the party who pays for the individual’s services, known as the ‘fee-payer’.

Small businesses will not be caught by the changes.

 

New parental bereavement law

Effective 6 April 2020

  • Currently when an employee loses a child their employer may allow the employee to take compassionate leave or holiday or a leave of absence. In some circumstances the employee may be signed off sick.
  • The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018is expected to come into force in April 2020. If it does come into force, bereaved parents will have the right to two weeks of leave following the loss of child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Bereaved parents will be entitled to take their leave in one two-week block or in two separate blocks of one week. The leave must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.
  • Bereaved parents employed with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service will also be entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay. Those with less than 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to take two weeks of unpaid leave.

Holiday pay calculation adjustment

  • From 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference periodwill increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Employers will be required to look back at the previous 52 weeks where a worker has worked and received pay, discarding any weeks not worked or where no pay was received, to calculate the average weekly pay.

This change has been made to help even out the variation in pay for workers, particularly those in seasonal or atypical roles.

For more help and preparation please contact [email protected]