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Are you ready for the 2020 employment law changes?

There will be a number of changes to UK employment law from 6 April 2020. As an employer, it’s important to keep up to date with these changes, so you can update your processes and documents.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve highlighted the key changes for you:

Employment agreements and statements

At the moment, employers have up to two months to give their employees a statement of written particulars, which provides employees with basic terms and conditions of their employment. Some form of written employment agreement usually fulfils this need, but employers can also use a more basic employment statement.

 From 6 April 2020, there will be three key changes to this for employers hiring new staff in England, Wales and Scotland:

  1. The statement must also be given to workers, not just employees
  2. Most of the required information must be given no later than the employment start date
  3. The following extra information must now be included:
  • The days of the week they’ll be working
  • Do the days and/or times of work vary? If so, how?
  • Any paid leave that they’ll get on top of holiday and sick pay, such as maternity pay
  • Any benefits the employee receives on top of a pension, paid holiday, sickness and injury pay and other paid leave
  • Probationary periods including duration and conditions
  • Training provided and paid for by the employer, stating if it needs to be completed
  • Any other training not paid for by the employer

Employers must also:

  • Confirm if there’s no information related to any of the above points
  • Provide information on pensions, collective agreements, training and disciplinary rules within two months of the employee starting work

This information can be contained in another document, such as a staff handbook, but the statement must say so. This also only applies to information on pensions, sickness and sick pay, training, other paid leave and disciplinary rules.

Agency staff

Agency workers have the right to the same pay and basic working conditions as others in the same role, as long as they’ve worked for 12 weeks continuously. At the moment, this doesn’t apply if a worker is paid a minimum amount by the agency between each role, but this exemption will no longer apply from 6 April 2020.

Average week’s pay calculation

The calculation to work out average pay is changing too. It used to be 12 weeks, but this is being extended to 52 weeks. The aim is to improve holiday pay for seasonal workers, who are usually worse off because of the way it’s currently calculated.

Tax on termination payments

From April 6, employers will have to pay National Insurance of 13.8% for termination payments of more than £30,000.

Bereavement leave

From April 6, bereaved parents are entitled to bereavement leave and pay.

Employees who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from the 24th week of pregnancy, will have the right to two weeks’ leave as a day-one right. This leave can be taken as one period, or as two one-week periods, and should be paid at the same statutory rate as other family-related rights. This leave is available during the first year after the child’s death.

Changes to IR35 rules for the private sector

Self-employed people no longer need to account for their income tax and NI contributions with HMRC. Instead, this will now be their current employer’s responsibility. Thankfully, this is unlikely to affect SMEs as the new legislation won’t apply to businesses with any two of the following:

  • Annual turnover of less than £10.2m
  • A balance sheet of less than £5.1m
  • Fewer than 50 employees

Any employers affected by this will have to:

  • State the employment status of self-employed individuals.
  • Assess whether they’re self-employed or employed, and then let HMRC know.

We’re here to help

We provide BusinessCare free with our Group Income Protection and CLASS policies. It’s an online and telephone-based legal advice service. A team of qualified solicitors offer expert advice on issues ranging from employment law, to health and safety.

You can find out more about BusinessCare, including how to access the service here.

Key benefits

  • Create legal documents online using thousands of customisable templates
  • Send documents for legal review
  • Use our 24/7 legal advice helpline and speak to one of our experienced lawyers
  • Run a legal health check online and ensure all of your policies and documents are up to date and legally compliant
  • No hidden charges

Any questions?

If you’d like to learn more about how BusinessCare can help you, please get in touch with your account manager or call our customer services department on 0345 223 8000.

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