Five Key 2020 Employment Law Changes

Five Key 2020 Employment Law Changes

Five Key 2020 Employment Law Changes That You Need to Plan For

Five Key 2020 Employment Law Changes

April 2020 sees several changes to employment legislation.

Here are five  key 2020 employment law changes you must be aware of. And how they may affect your business:

1. CALCULATION OF HOLIDAY PAY FOR EMPLOYEES WITH VARIABLE HOURS

Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

The government is extending the reference period for determining an average weeks’ pay. The period will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This change comes into effect from the 6 April 2020.

There are two aims to this reform:

  1. To help employers calculate a more accurate average
  2. to improve holiday pay for seasonal workers, who may lose out based on the current calculation.

Records you need to keep

You’ll need to keep records of employees’ pay for the 52 weeks up to 6 April 2020.  And continue to do so beyond that date.

 It will also be important to consider how and when to make the change within your business. For example, if your holiday year starts in January, you may wish to consider whether to put the change in place from January, in line with your holiday year. Or wait until April. 

Given the extensive amount of case law decisions over previous years around the calculation of holiday pay and what it should include, we advise you to:

  • Take the opportunity to review your working practices within this area and …
  • … seek advice to ensure you are complying with the current guidelines. 

2. CHANGES TO WRITTEN STATEMENTS OF PARTICULARS  

Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019)

At the moment you, as an employer, have up to two months to issue a written statement of particulars. Particulars are basic terms of employment, given to any employee working for you, for more than one month.

From April 6 2020, both your workers and yourself have an entitlement to a written statement of particulars. In addition, you should provide these particulars from day one. 

There will be an extension on the statement to include the following extra particulars in relation to:

  • The days of the week you expect the individual to work, whether working hours are or could be variable and how you will determine any variation. 
  • The details in relation to ‘any other’ paid leave entitlement aside from holidays
  • Details around any probationary period, including length and any conditions
  • The details regarding any other benefits provided by the employer (i.e. not pay alone) 
  • Any training entitlement provided by the employer.  Including if this is mandatory and/or paid for by the individual.

As an employer you must put in place these changes in relation to anyone starting work on or after April 6 2020. 

Our advice is that you take the opportunity to:

  1. Review and update your employee documentation and create or update documentation for any workers you engage with in preparation for these changes.
  2. Review your recruitment and induction process to ensure they reflect the above changes.

 Go-Legal HR will help you with all of that. 

3. REMOVAL OF AGENCY WORKERS OPT OUT LOOPHOLE

 Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019

Current rules governing agency workers allow agencies to opt out of equalising the pay of agency staff with the permanent workforce when they have been with the same employer for more than 12 weeks. But only if  they pay the agency worker between assignments.

This rule stops on April 6 2020 when the Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 come into force. 

4. THE INTRODUCTION OF PARENTAL BEREAVEMENT LEAVE

Parental Bereavement Leave will entitle employees who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from the 24th week of pregnancy, to two weeks leave, to grieve away from the workplace. This will be a day one right, so there is no minimum service requirement. 

The government has announced that employees will be able to take Parental Bereavement Leave and pay as a single block, or as two separate weeks. And further, that employed parents will have a period of 56 weeks in which to use their entitlement. It’s expected that these regulations will come in to force in April 2020. 

To be ready for the introduction of this new statutory right, it’s advisable that you have a written bereavement policy in place.

Note too, that mothers who lose a child after 24 weeks of pregnancy or during maternity leave keep their entitlement to maternity leave and pay.

5. EXTENSION OF IR35 TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR

The off-payroll working rules, also known as IR35, can apply if a worker provides their services through an intermediary. Though such a worker is classed as an employee if they’re contracted directly.

The aim of these rules is to reduce tax avoidance for off-payroll contractors working through personal service companies. As it stands, only public sector companies are responsible for deciding whether the off-payroll working rule (IR35) applies, and for deducting the relevant tax and NI contributions from the contractor’s fee when it does not. 

From April 6 2020, it will be the responsibility of medium and large-sized private sector clients to decide if IR35 applies.

If IR35 applies, all payments made to personal service companies will be treated as payments of employment income on which the client (or a third-party intermediary) must account for tax. This shifts responsibility for IR35 tax compliance from the personal service company to the client or intermediary.

The HMRC has issued guidance on this and how to prepare ahead of the changes. This will include taking closer looks at the employment status of individuals.

With so many changes affecting employment law, it’s important to ensure you:

  • Remain ahead
  • Keep your documentation up to date
  • Seek specific advice on how the changes will affect your business.

Our team of specialist employment law consultants are on hand to provide support to you and your business with these five key 2020 employment law changes. And a whole range of other HR services

Contact us on our web form here. Or pick up the phone and call us on Office: 01793 877787 or mobile: 07801 709945

Sources:

Gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-plan
Gov.uk/guidance/understanding-off-payroll-working-ir35
Gov.uk/government/publications/off-payroll-working-in-the-private-sector-ir35-budget-2018-brief
Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019
Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019
Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill