Changes to Employment Law April 2020

As always the New Year sees a number of changes in Employment Law coming into effect April 2020.  Some key changes are as follows:

Written statement of terms – contracts will become a day one right for both employees and workers and will need to contain additional details for the first time.

The information to be included from day one is also being expanded.  In addition to the current information that must be provided for all new joiners on or after 6 April 2020 the statement should also include:

  • how long a job is expected to last, or the end date of a fixed-term contract
  • how much notice the 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 e.g. maternity leave and paternity leave
  • the duration and conditions of any probationary period
  • all remuneration (not just pay) e.g. vouchers, lunch, health insurance
  • the normal working hours, the days of the week the worker is required to work, and whether or not such hours or days may be variable, and if they may be how they vary or how that variation is to be determined
  • any training entitlement provided by the employer, any part of that training entitlement which the employer requires the worker to complete, and any other training which the employer requires the worker to complete and which the employer will not bear the cost.

What should you do now? 

  • Start to review your current contracts to ensure they have all required information in them.
  • Consider changing the recruitment process to give you more time before you hire to get it right.

Changes to holiday pay calculations  – The pay reference period for calculating a ‘normal’ weeks’ pay will be extended from 12 to 52 weeks, meaning staff will need to be keep more detailed records of working patterns.  If the worker has been employed for less than 52 weeks, you should use the number of complete weeks for which the worker has been engaged.

What should you do now?

  • Review current procedures and ensure the future process is amended to fit the new criteria.
  • Ensure your pay records for the 52 weeks prior to 6 April 2020 is up to date and the ongoing recording process is sufficient.

Changes to agency workers’ rights  – agency workers will benefit from improved rights in 2020 as Swedish derogation contracts are set to become unlawful from 6 April, thereby ensuring employers can no longer avoid providing staff equal pay after 12 consecutive weeks on assignment.

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.

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

What should you do now?

  • Review the information provided to your agency workers to ensure they meet the new requirements.

Increase to Statutory Rates – as has happened for many years, the minimum wage as well as rates for leave such as maternity, paternity and sick will increase from April.  Below are the current rates and those effective from April:

Family-friendly payments

PaymentsFrom 7 April 2019From 5 April 2020
Statutory shared parental pay (ShPP)

Statutory rate or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower.

£148.68£151.20
Statutory maternity pay (SMP)

First six weeks – 90% of employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at the statutory rate or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower.

£148.68£151.20
Statutory adoption pay (SAP)

First six weeks – 90% of employee’s average weekly earnings. Remaining weeks at the statutory rate or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower.

£148.68£151.20
Statutory paternity pay (SPP)

Statutory rate or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if this is lower.

£148.68£151.20

Statutory sick pay

PaymentFrom 6 April 2019From 6 April 2020
Statutory sick pay£94.25£95.85

National minimum wage

AgeFrom 1 April 2019From 1 April 2020
Workers aged 25 and over (National Living Wage)£8.21 an hour£8.72 an hour
Workers aged 21–24£7.70 an hour£8.20 an hour
Development rates for workers aged 18–20£6.15 an hour£6.45 an hour
Young workers rate for workers aged 16–17£4.35 an hour£4.55 an hour
Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in first year of the apprenticeship£3.90 an hour£4.15 an hour

What should you do now?

  • Review your current pay rates and ensure anyone in the specific age brackets are being paid correctly.
  • Review your budgets and ensure the numbers add up.
  • Update/amend any policies that reference specific payment amounts.

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act  – provides for at least two weeks’ leave for employees following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to paid leave at the statutory rate and other employees will be entitled to unpaid leave.  The leave can be taken in one block or two separate blocks of one week each to be flexible to meet the employees need.

What should you do now?

  • Consider adding a policy to your handbook or suite of policies to clarify the process and details to your staff.
  • Be compassionate.

If you are concerned about any of these changes give us a call.  We would be happy to undertake a review of your current documents and policies and deliver an action plan to ensure you are on the right side of the law.

Enabling you to do business and not HR.

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