Changes to Employment Law in April 2020

We’re not just Settlement Agreement Solicitors here, our principal Steven Mather, Solicitor, is also a specialist employment lawyer as well. Here are some changes to Employment Law that are coming in to effect in April 2020, that all Employers and Employees should be aware of.

The changes stem from the Government’s Good Work Plan (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-plan) which was published in December 2018.

Holiday Pay

The Government wanted to improve holiday pay arrangements for seasonal workers. It is changing the reference period for determining an average week’s pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks (or such time as the worker has been engaged).

This should see an increase in holiday pay for certain workers.

Written Statement of Terms

Form April 2020, the law will require all workers (not just employees) to have a written statement of terms from day one. It used to be that written statements were required within a 2 month period and only for employees. It is now wider, covering workers as well as employees. And it requires you to provide a written statement of terms on the day they start, although our advice is to provide it to them before they even arrive if that is possible.

In addition to the already mandatory information a statement of terms must include, there is some new information which now must be provided which is:

  • how long a job is expected to last, or the end date of a fixed-term contract
  • how much notice an employer and worker are required to give to terminate the agreement
  • details of eligibility for sick leave and pay
  • details of other types of paid leave such as maternity leave and paternity leave
  • the duration and conditions of any probationary period
  • all remuneration (not just pay) – contributions in cash or kind for example vouchers and lunch
  • which specific days and times workers are required to work

Extension of IR35 to the private sector

The Government are really keen to ensure that Companies are responsible for the assessment of Status of Worker tests – i.e whether someone is an employee, worker or a true independent contractor. See here.

IR35 are anti-tax avoidance rules in relation to off-payroll contractors typically working through a personal services company (PSC). The Treasury is missing out significant tax from people who really are employees or workers, but have chosen (usually forced by the company) to set up a company and invoice for their time instead.

Although it is not on the statute books yet, be warned. If you operate any off-payroll contractors, you should review your position and consider alternatives.

Parental Bereavement Leave

As set out in this blog post in more detail, the Government are bringing in a statutory 2-weeks paid leave for parents when they lose a child. This stemmed from the campaign for Jack’s Law.

Increases to National Minimum Wage and other statutory payments

The rates for the national minimum wage will increase on 1 April 2020. The national living wage rate, for workers aged 25 and over, will increase from £8.21 to £8.72.

The rates for younger workers will also increase, with hourly rates rising to £8.20 for workers aged at least 21 but under 25, to £6.45 for workers aged at least 18 but under 21 and to £4.55 for workers aged under 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age. The rate for apprentices will rise to £4.15.

The proposed rate for statutory maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay is £151.20, up from £148.68. The increase normally takes effect on the first Sunday in April, which in 2020 is 5 April. The rate for statutory sick pay is expected to increase on 6 April 2020. The proposed new rate is £95.85, up from £94.25.

(source: https://www.xperthr.co.uk/statutory-rates/ )

Steven Mather

Employment Law Solicitor

steven@stevenmather.co.uk
0116 3667 900