Employment Law Changes – April 2020

From 6 April 2020, the legal requirement on employers to provide a written statement of terms and conditions has been extended to all workers. This includes those on casual and zero hours contracts. The right to a written statement no longer requires any minimum length of service and applies from the worker’s first day working for the employer. It means that any employee starting work on or after 6th April 2020 will be entitled to a written statement of employment particulars in the required format from day one, This applied even where the work will last for less than one month, and those already working for any employer have the right to the same information.

Extension of period to calculate holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations 1998

All employees are entitled to paid annual leave and they must be paid the same amount when on holiday as they would receive when working irrespective of their working pattern or arrangements. Holiday pay is calculated based on the days or hours work per week, annual hours, compressed hours or shifts. The holiday pay of a worker with irregular working hours was calculated by averaging the number of hours worked over the previous twelve weeks (known as the “pay reference period”). With effect from 6 April 2020, the pay reference period will be 52 weeks or, for those workers who have worked less than 52 weeks, the total number of weeks they have worked. This change has been implemented to avoid workers losing out where their working hours are subject to fluctuations such as seasonal variations.

Increased pay for agency workers

All agency workers are entitled to be paid the same rates as permanent employees after twelve weeks employment. An exception was if they were working under direct contract with an agency under which they would receive a minimum level of pay when they were between assignments (known as the “Swedish Derogation Model”) From 6 April 2020 this distinction has been abolished and the right to the same pay parity with comparable permanent staff will apply to all agency workers after twelve weeks in the job.

Agency workers. Key information to be provided

An obligation has also been introduced on all employment businesses from 6th April 2020 to provide agency worker- seekers with a key facts statement providing information about their contract, pay rates and pay arrangements before agreeing the terms by which the work-seeker will carry out work.

Tribunal awards.

These have increased as follows:

  • Maximum compensation award for unfair dismissal for dismissals after 6 April 2020 increases from £86,444 to £88,519
  • The maximum limit on a week’s pay for calculation of the basic tribunal award or redundancy pay increases from £525 to £538 from 6th April 2020.
  • The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases from £ 148.65 to £151.20 from 6 April 2020.
  • The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases from £ 94.25 to £95.85 from 6 April 2020.
  • A new National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over increases from £8.21 to £8.72 per hour on 1 April 2020.
  • Other National Minimum Wage rates also increase from this date with hourly rates rising from £ 7.70 to £8.20 for workers aged 21 to 24, from £ 6.15 to £6.45 for workers aged 18 to 20 and from £ 4.35 to £4.55 for workers aged 16 or 17 and from £ 3.90 to £ 4.15 for apprentices.

Bereavement leave.

There is a new statutory right for all employees from 6th April 2020 known as parental bereavement leave. This allows any employee who has a child who dies under the age of 18 or who suffers a still birth after twenty four weeks of pregnancy to take two weeks statutory leave which can be taken in one two week period week or two separate blocks of a week. Employees with at least twenty six weeks service who meet the minimum earnings criteria will also qualify for statutory parental bereavement pay at the same rate as statutory paternity pay (see above)

This article was written by our employment solicitor Stevyn Jackson

For further advice, please contact our offices on 01491 572138 or via email - mail@mercerslaw.co.uk and ask for Stevyn Jackson.

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