Are you prepared for the changes to employment law on 6 April 2020?

A number of changes are coming in on 6 April 2020, which have been in the pipeline for some time. 

Good work plan

The first set of changes implement parts of the Government’s Good Work Plan of 2018, which came out of the Taylor Review. In summary:

  • Extended right to a written statement: Workers – not just employees – will be entitled to a written statement explaining certain terms of their employment and other information. It must be provided on or before the date on which they start. There is a list of new information you must set out (for both workers and employees), which includes things like how a worker’s hours or days of work might vary and how any probationary period works.
  • Change to reference period for statutory holiday pay: You will need to calculate statutory holiday pay for workers without regular working hours based on the average weekly pay received in the 52 weeks before their holiday (rather than 12).
  • Change to trigger for statutory information and consultation agreement: The threshold required for a request to set up an agreement to consult on employment-related matters will be reduced from 10% to 2% of the workforce (subject to a minimum of 15 people).
  • If you use agency workers: They will be entitled to be paid the same as comparable direct recruits after 12 weeks (and to be informed the previous provisions no longer apply by 30 April).  Employment agencies must also provide them with a “fact sheet” with certain information about their work arrangements.

We anticipate that a number of other measures coming out of the Good Work Plan will be covered by a new Employment Bill, expected later this year.

Other changes

Five other 6 April changes to note are:

  • Employment tribunal limits: The limit on a week's pay will rise to £538 and the cap on the compensatory award will increase to £88,519.  See here for full details of all the increases.
  • Tax treatment of termination payments: All termination payments above £30,000 will be subject to employer NICs.
  • IR35: The off-payroll working rules will be extended to all medium and large businesses. Those businesses will now need to decide whether contractors are required to pay income tax and NICs and, if they do, to pay HMRC. There will also be changes to the off-payroll working rules for public bodies. We explain more about the changes, in particular the new requirements of a “status determination statement” for public bodies, in this article.
  • The NMW rules: Various changes are being made for salaried hours workers, who can now be paid in additional equal instalments. Employers can choose a calculation year and make premium payments for basic hours. The NMW naming scheme will also start again.
  • Parental bereavement leave and pay: Working parents will have a statutory right to take leave following the devastating loss of a child, so they can grieve away from the workplace. We explain everything you need to know, including the steps you should take to prepare, in this article.

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