Are you ready for the April 2020 changes?

6 February, 2020

We are fast approaching April 2020, and with it comes a number of changes to employment law. We have summarised the new legislation coming into force to ensure that you (and your contracts!) are ready come 6 April 2020.

Right to a written statement of terms

Currently, only employees who have worked for more than one month, are entitled to a written statement of terms (usually in the form of a contract), and this has to be provided within two months of the date they start employment.

From 6 April 2020 all workers, not just employees, will need to be provided with a written statement on day one of their employment. You need to consider who may qualify as a worker and ensure that their statements contain all of the correct information.

The statements will need to include information that has not previously been required such as:

  • The days of the week that a worker is required to work, whether their hours may be variable and details of how they may vary
  • Any paid leave to which the worker is entitled
  • Details of all remuneration and benefits to which the worker is entitled
  • Any probationary period to which the worker is entitled including its duration and any conditions attached
  • Any training entitlement provided by the employer including whether the training is mandatory and/or must be paid for by the worker

 

You will need to ensure that these new style statements are ready for recruits starting on or after 6 April 2020.

Agency worker rules

The “Swedish derogation” principle is being removed. If included in an agreement this principle means that employers can avoid paying any agency workers the same amount as any direct employees regardless of the amount of time that they have been engaged. Once this principle is removed it will mean that agency workers who have at least 12 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to the same pay as any workers who are engaged directly by the employer.

If you have any agency workers who are with you for 12 weeks or more make sure you review their pay to ensure it is comparable to direct employees.  

Changes to ‘off-payroll’ working- IR35

Businesses who engage contractors will be familiar with the IR35 rules which were introduced with the aim of counteracting the perceived tax advantages achieved by those acting as an “off-payroll” worker rather than employee. The responsibility for compliance with the IR35 rules and the determination of whether there is a hypothetical employment relationship is shifting from the contractor to the client from 6 April 2020. This means that the liability for making PAYE deductions and paying NI contributions will move to the party which pays the personal services company (PSC) in the hope that this will increase compliance.

Please see our article here for more detail.

Holiday pay

The holiday reference period for those individuals who do not have normal working hours or who receive variable remuneration is set to increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Employers need to consider which workers this new reference period will impact and how to go about implementing the new reference period. Employers also need to ensure that all records of hours worked/pay for the previous 52 week period are accurate and kept up to date.

Parental bereavement leave

A new law is coming into effect on 6 April 2020 which entitles employees who lose a child under the age of 18, or who suffer a still birth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, to two weeks’ leave, paid at the statutory rate (currently £148.68 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings whichever is lower).

For more information or for advice on how to ensure you are ready for the upcoming changes, please contact Camilla Beamish.  For our updates and the latest employment news, please follow us on Twitter @CrippsEmpLaw