The following are employment law changes that will be effective from April 2020.
Contracts of Employment/Section 1 statements
Currently, you have up to 8 weeks after your employee’s start date to give them a written contract.
Many of you will already do this, however, from the 6th April 2020, you need to give all new staff (employees and workers) a written statement of main terms and conditions from day one of employment – if not before.
As well as the change to this timescale, there is also additional information that needs to be included in a contract.
These are :
• the hours and days of the week the worker /employee is required to work, whether they may be varied and how
• entitlements to any paid leave
• any other benefits not covered elsewhere in the written statement
• details of any probationary period
• details of training provided by the employer.
Increase in the National Minimum and National Living Wage
This year, we see the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage increase significantly.
The National Living Wage (payable to workers aged 25 and over) will increase from £8.21 to £8.72. This is an increase of more than four times the rate of inflation: up 6.2%.
The National Minimum Wage will increase as follows:
• Workers aged 21 to 24 – from £7.70 to £8.20: up 6.5%
• Workers aged 18 to 20 – from £6.15 to £6.45: up 4.9%
• Workers aged over compulsory school age under 18 – from £4.35 to £4.55: up 4.6%
• Apprentices – from £3.90 to £4.15: up 6.4%
Increases to the statutory rates for maternity, paternity, shared parental pay, adoption and sick pay
Statutory rates increase from the first Sunday of April. Family friendly statutory payments are increasing from £148.68 to £151.20. Statutory sick pay is increasing from £94.25 to £95.85.
Increases from £525/week to £538/week.
Changes to the reference period for calculating holiday pay
The reference period in the Working Time Regulations 1998 for calculating annual leave increases from 12 to 52 weeks. This applies to all 5.6 weeks of a worker’s minimum holiday entitlement.
If the worker has been employed for less than 52 weeks, their holiday pay is based on the number of complete weeks they have worked.
This will only affect workers whose hours of work varies from week to week.
Right to Parental Bereavement Leave
From April 2020, all employed parents will get the right to two weeks of paid bereavement leave following the death of a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
Remember, that’s the statutory minimum. You may choose to offer more paid leave after traumatic life events or give staff professional bereavement support.
Changes to agency workers (Swedish derogation)
From this date, agency workers won’t be able to opt out of the right to receive equal pay which become available after 12 weeks by entering into a contract of employment with the agency (known as a Swedish derogation agreement). Plus, those who already work under a Swedish derogation contract must, no later than 30 April 2020, be given a written statement informing them that they are entitled to the equal pay provisions contained in the Agency Worker Regulations 2010.
If you use agency workers, this may push up costs.
Time to Prepare!
You will need to start preparing now ready for April 2020.
• Update your contracts of employment including the additional information required.
• From April 2020, ensure that all new staff are provided with their contracts of employment from day one of employment – if not before.
• Budget for the increase to NMW, NLW, family pay and sick pay. If you plan to make redundancies in 2020, the statutory redundancy pay will also increase.