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What’s on the Horizon for 2020?

There are a number of developments on the way this year, with April promising to be busier than usual, mainly due to changes that are being implemented under the Good Work Plan. So, what are the key things employers should be aware of?

Employment Contract Changes

From 6th April 2020, the requirements for the basic written statement of employment particulars will change.  As well as altering what the statements need to cover, there will also be a change to when they need to be provided. For most employers, this will mean adjusting their processes for new starters and may mean some changes to contracts of employment are needed.

For employees who start employment from 6th April 2020:

  • The majority of the information employers are required to give will need to be provided on or before employment commences – it becomes a day one right. Currently, employers can provide contracts containing the required information within two months of an employee commencing employment.
  • More information will need to be provided than is currently legally required. This includes information about:
  • The days of the week the employee is required to work and whether working hours or days may be variable, including details of how they may vary.
  • Any entitlement to paid leave (for example maternity leave and paternity leave).
  • Any other remuneration or benefits provided.
  • Any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration.
  • Any training provided, any part of the training which the employee is required to complete and any other required training in respect of which the employer will not bear the cost.
  • Much of the information required will need to be provided in one single document.

The new requirements do not apply to employees employed before 6th April 2020, however, they can request a contract complying with the new requirements and it will need to be provided within one month of a request.

Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd will provide you with further information regarding contracts changes in due course.

Changes to the Calculation of Holiday Pay

The reference period used to calculate an average weeks pay for holiday pay purposes will be changing for some employees. It will affect those whose hours/pay varies, such as employees who do regular overtime, earn commission or don’t have set hours. Currently, a 12 week reference period is used to calculate an average weeks pay for holiday pay purposes, this reference period will be increased to 52 weeks (or the number of complete weeks for which the worker has been employed if less).  The change is intended to ensure that workers aren’t disadvantaged by taking holiday at a quiet time of the year when their weekly pay may be lower.

The change will take effect from 6th April 2020. It’s important to be alert to it if you have employees who will be affected and to be aware that the change may need to be reflected in your contracts.

Bank Holiday Change

Sticking with the topic of holiday, it’s worth noting that the early May bank holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4th May to Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. If you have any questions about the impact of this in your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact your Employment Law Specialist who will be happy to help.

New Parental Right

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act is expected to come into effect in April 2020. This will entitle employed parents who have lost a child to two weeks’ leave to allow them time to grieve away from the workplace. Parental bereavement leave and pay will be available to be taken as a single block, or as two separate weeks and parents will have a period of 56 weeks in which to use their entitlement.

The government will be drafting regulations to implement the scheme and we will keep you up to date with developments int his area.

Statutory Rates Likely to Increase

Each April the government revises the National Minimum Wage and statutory payment rates such as maternity (SMP) and sick pay (SSP). It’s likely that these rates will increase this year so it’s important to keep up with any developments in this area. Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd will let you know of any changes when they are announced so your organisation can be prepared.

If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.