2020 Update

Five upcoming employment law changes your company needs to be aware of in 2020

As we welcome in the new year I share here an overview of five important legal changes that will come in to effect in 2020 that all UK employers and businesses need to be aware of.

  • New right to a written statement of terms 

  • With effect 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 (previously employees who had been continuously employed for more than a month had to be provided with this within two months of starting employment). Additional information must be included in the statement as part of the extended right.

    How to prepare

    Employers should :

      Review their recruitment process to ensure that this includes the preparing and issuing of the statement of particulars during recruitment stage to meet the day one requirement.
      Review their statement of particulars against the new requirements to ensure that it includes every element.
  • Amendments to agency workers rules
  • With effect from 6 April 2020

    The Swedish derogation will be removed (this was 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 are paid by the agency for periods between assignments) this will mean that when 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.

    How to prepare

    Employers should ensure that any agency workers whose existing contracts contain a Swedish derogation provision are provided with a written notification by the agency that it will no longer have effect.

    Employers should ask any agencies they work with to identify how this will impact on pay for any current agency workers and to identify any additional costs that will be incurred where appropriate.

    Agency work-seekers must be provided with a key facts statement setting out the terms under which they will undertake the work.

  • Changes to IR35 rules for the private sector
  • With effect 6 April 2020

    The changes to IR35 rules will be implemented for medium and large businesses in the private sector (similar to changes that took effect in the public sector in 2017). Currently the IR35 rules apply where an individual (worker) personally performs services for another person (client) through an intermediary (usually a personal service company, or PSC), and if the services were provided under a direct contract, the worker would be regarded for tax purposes as being employed by the client. At the moment it is the intermediary’s responsibility to determine whether IR35 applies.

    For all contracts entered into, or payments made on or after 6 April 2020, the onus will shift from the PSC to the end user client to determine whether it is inside or outside IR35 and if it is inside IR35 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’.

    How to prepare

    All medium and large businesses should carry out an assessment to determine whether the new rules under IR35 apply to any independent contractors that they use.

  • Holiday pay reference period adjustment
  • With effect from 6 April 2020

    The holiday pay reference period will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. When calculating the average weekly pay for annual leave purposes employers will be required to look back over the previous 52 weeks where a worker has worked and received pay, discarding any weeks not worked or where no pay was received.

    How to prepare

    Employers should ensure that they have accurate records of hours worked and pay for the previous 52 weeks to enable the average weekly pay calculations to be made.

  • New parental bereavement law
  • With effect from 6 April 2020 (to be confirmed)

    The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is anticipated to come into effect in April 2020 that will provide bereaved parents with the right to two weeks of leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The finer details will be set out in separate regulations. 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 leave.

    How to prepare

    Employers should start to review their current HR policy and provisions for bereavement leave to identify what may need to change, or be introduced, to comply with the expected introduction of these changes.

    I hope this update has been helpful to you. If you would like any further advice, support and guidance on how to implement these changes in your business this year please do get in touch. Happy new year !