Latest Changes to Employment Law April 2020

Employment Law Changes - April 2020

As part of the Good Work Plan and the government’s response to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, a number of changes to employment legislation have been implemented from April 2020.

We have prepared a summary of the key provisions that employers need to be aware of.  In addition, details of the latest update on statutory pay from April 2020 are available to download here

New right to a written section 1 statement

Prior to 6 April 2020, employees who had been continuously employed for more than one month had to be provided with a written statement of terms within two months of commencement of their employment. From 6 April 2020, all new employees and workers have the right to a statement of written particulars from day one of employment, regardless of the length of their engagement. 

Employers also now need to include additional information in this statement such as the days of the week the worker is required to work, any training, any probationary period, any paid leave and other benefits.

If you require further information and assistance on how to prepare the new s.1 statement then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Holiday pay reference period

Prior to 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period was 12 weeks for workers with no normal working hours, or for those with normal working hours but whose pay varied with the amount of work done or the time when the work was done.  From 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period has increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks for these workers. To calculate the average weekly pay employers are 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 has been received.

Agency workers - Swedish derogation

Agency workers have the right to the same pay and basic working conditions as direct recruits after 12 weeks’ continuous service working in the same role.  Prior to 6 April 2020 there was an exemption from the right to equal treatment as regards pay (including holiday pay) if an agency worker was employed under a permanent contract of employment with the agency (if certain conditions are met) and was paid a minimum amount between assignments. This was called the Swedish derogation.

From 6 April 2020 the Swedish derogation has been abolished.  This means that after having satisfied 12 weeks in the same role the agency worker is now 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 this provision will no longer have effect.

Agency workers – Key facts statement

From 6 April 2020, before agreeing the terms of work, all agency work-seekers must now be provided with a key facts statement setting out the terms under which they will undertake the work.  The document must be headed “Key Information Document”, be separate to any other documents provided to the work-seeker, and include specified information such as the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay, method of pay and who will be paying them.

New parental bereavement law

The Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020 and the Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (General) Regulations 2020 came into force on 6 April 2020.

Under this legislation, employed parents are entitled to a statutory minimum of two weeks’ parental bereavement leave (PBL) following the death of a child. The right to PBL applies to all employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth (from 24 weeks of pregnancy), irrespective of their length of service. Bereaved parents employed with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service are also entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay.

Employer NICs due on termination payments

From 6 April 2020 it has become more expensive for employers to dismiss employees where they are making termination payments that exceed £30,000.

Prior to 6 April 2020, the first £30,000 of a termination payment which was taxable under section 403 of ITEPA 2003 was tax free, with the balance over £30,000 being subject to income tax only.  No employer or employee National Insurance contributions were due.

From 6 April 2020 all termination payments that are chargeable to income tax are now subject to employer’s (Class 1A) national insurance contributions at 13.8%, to the extent they exceed £30,000. Termination payments will remain exempt from employee’s national insurance contributions.

The new rule applies to dismissals that take place on or after 6 April 2020.

Lower information and consultation threshold

From 6 April 2020, the threshold required for a valid request to set up an information and consultation arrangement under the ICE Regulations has been lowered from 10% to 2% of employees, subject to the existing minimum of 15 employees. 

Changes to IR35 rules for the private sector

The changes to the extension to the IR35 off-payroll working regime which were due to come into effect on 6 April 2020 have now been postponed until April 2021.  This means that businesses will now have more time to prepare for this change.

Gender pay gap reporting

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Government Equalities Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have taken the decision to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for reporting this year (2019/2020). This means there will be no expectation on employers to report their data.

Contact us

If you wish to discuss any of the above in more detail then please do not hesitate to contact Reyhana Koser on 01384 445885 or by email on ReyhanaKoser@talbotslaw.co.uk