Changes to Employment Law – April 2020

Having enjoyed little in the way of employment legislation changes over recent years, 2020 is set to be a busy year in HR, with a number of employment law developments which have been on the horizon for some time coming into force in April. These will affect every business that employs people, so here’s our overview of the key obligations that are coming your way:

  • It’s all change in respect of providing written statements of employment terms and conditions, often referred to as contracts of employment. Currently the right to a written statement only applies to employees with at least one month’s continuous service and the statement has to be provided within 2 months of their start date. The right is being extended to include workers, so will include casual and zero hours staff. In addition, from 6th April it will become a day one right meaning that your contracts of employment will need to be provided on the first day someone starts working for you, or before.
  • What you must include in the written statement has also been expanded, with additional information being required, including details of probationary periods and the conditions that apply to them, entitlement to additional paid leave other than sick pay (which is already included), details of employee benefits and training.
  • The right to parental bereavement leave and pay will also come into force, providing the right to two weeks paid leave to parents of a child under the age of 18 who has died. This right will apply from day one of someone’s employment, with the leave being taken within 56 weeks of the child’s death in a block of two weeks or two blocks of one week.
  • The way of calculating holiday pay for workers with irregular hours is changing, with the reference period for calculations being extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This will mean workers whose pay is variable due to payments such as overtime or commissions will need to be paid for their holiday based on an average of their earnings over the previous year.
  • Changes to IR35 rules for off payroll working will be extended to medium and large private sector employers in April 2020. These changes will shift the responsibility for determining the status of contractors for tax purposes together with the liability for deducting tax and national insurance, which will now sit with the client.
  • Companies with more than 250 employees will be obliged to report on the pay ration between their CEO and their employees. This legislation came into effect on 1st January 2019, but the first reporting requirements are for the 2019/20 financial year, which for many will mean another new requirement for April.
  • In addition, April will see the usual changes to statutory rates for national minimum wage, sick pay, maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay.

Plenty to be thinking about over the next few months and yet more changes on the horizon following the Queens speech in December.  For more information or if you need any support implementing these changes, feel free to give us a call.