Summary of Employment Law Changes 2020

ARTICLES > KNOWLEDGE HUB > Summary of Employment Law Changes 2020
By Andy Phillpot
March 17, 2020

New right to a written statement of terms a heading

Prior to 6th April 2020

Current law

Currently, employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written statement of terms within two months of employment commencing.

New law

From 6 April 2020, all new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particulars from their first day of employment. Additional information will also have to be included from this date.

Employers will need to consider who might qualify as a worker, issuing contracts of employment only to employees and using a separate template when issuing particulars for workers. Given this is a ‘day one’ requirement, issuing the correct contract should be part of the recruitment process.

Amendments to agency workers rules

Prior to 6th April 2020

Current law

The Agency Worker Regulations 2010 (AWR 2010) entitles agency workers to receive the same pay and basic working conditions as direct recruits once they have completed 12 weeks’ continuous service working in the same role.

Currently there is provision that allows an exemption to the right to equal pay, if agency workers are employed under a permanent contract of employment with the temporary work agency and a re paid by the agency for periods between assignments.

New law

From 6 April 2020, this provision is removed. Once agency workers have satisfied the 12-week qualifying period, they will be entitled to equal pay to workers who are engaged directly by the employer.

In addition, from 6 April 2020 all agency work-seekers must be provided with a key facts statement setting out the terms under which they will undertake the work.

Holiday pay reference period adjustment

Prior to 6th April 2020

Current law

The calculation of holiday pay can be complicated, particularly for those with variable hours and variable rates of remuneration. Currently, the holiday pay reference period is 12 weeks.

New law

From 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Employers will be 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 was received, to calculate the average weekly pay.

This change will help to even out the variation in pay for workers, particularly those in seasonal roles.

Changes to IR35 rules for the private sector

Prior to 6th April 2020

Current law

At present, the IR35 rules apply where an individual (worker) personally performs services for another person (client}, through an intermediary (usually a personal service company}, and if the services were provided under a direct contract, the worker would be regarded for tax purposes as being employed by the client. Currently, it is the intermediary’s responsibility to determine whether I R35 applies.

New law

From 6 April 2020, changes to IR35 rules will be implemented : for medium and large businesses in the private sector and will largely mirror changes that took effect in the public sector in 2017.

For all contracts entered into, or payments made on or after 6th April 2020 the onus will shift to the end user client to determine status. Responsibility for accounting for tax and national insurance will shift to the party who pays for the individual’s services, known as the ‘fee-payer’.

In anticipation of these changes, businesses should carry out an assessment of any independent contractors and review their contracts and pay arrangements. Businesses that satisfy two or more of the following criteria will not be subject to the changes.

  • Annual turnover is no more than £ 10.2 million
  • Balance sheet total is no more than £5.1 million
  • No more than 50 employees

New parental bereavement law (not confirmed)

Prior to 6th April 2020

Current law

There is no current law.

New law

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is expected to come into force in April 2020, providing bereaved parents with two weeks of leave following the loss of child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Full details will be set out in separate regulations, but bereaved parents will be entitled to take their leave in one two-week block or in two separate blocks of one week. The leave must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.

Bereaved parents employed with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service will also be entitled to receive : statutory parental bereavement pay. Those with less than 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to take two weeks of unpaid leave.

Further reading…

Top Tips – Recruiting Staff

Top Tips – Recruiting Staff

If the past year has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. While we are embarking on a big step towards a ‘more normal’ life, it might come as a surprise that after a year of job loss and high numbers of unemployment, businesses are struggling to recruit staff.

Ready to see how we can help you? We would love to hear from you.