There are several important changes to employment law that took effect on 05 and 06 April 2020 including legislation under the Good Work Plan.
This includes legislation on written statements of terms, holiday pay reference periods and agency workers (to implement the Good Work Plan), increases to tribunal awards and statutory payments, national minimum wage increases, and the introduction of parental bereavement leave and pay.
The Good Work Plan
Several legislative changes to implement the Government’s Good Work Plan came into effect on 06 April 2020.
- Written statement of terms: all employees and workers have the right to a written statement of particulars and to bring a tribunal claim against their employer. Click here for more information on what you need to include in a written statement of particulars
- Holiday pay reference period: the reference period for determining an average week’s pay (for the purposes of calculating holiday pay) from 12 weeks to 52 weeks, or the number of complete weeks for which the worker has been employed (if less).
- Repeal of the Swedish derogation: all agency workers have a right to pay parity with comparable permanent staff after 12 weeks.
- Key information for agency workers: all employment businesses to provide agency work-seekers with a key facts statement, before agreeing the terms by which the work-seeker will undertake work.
Further information on the Good Work Plan can be found on the Government’s website here.
Tribunal awards and statutory payments
- There are increases to time limits applying to certain awards of employment tribunals, and other amounts payable under employment legislation from 06 April 2020.
- There are increases to the rate of statutory sick pay, and statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay from 05 April 2020.
Parental bereavement leave and pay (“Jack’s Law”)
The UK will be the first country in the world to offer paid parental bereavement as a right, and the Government estimates that this new entitlement will help to support around 10,000 parents a year.
Click here to access our more detailed guidance on Jack’s Law.
National Minimum Wage (NMW)
We have produced a free facts and figures information sheet for both commercial organisations and education providers which is a useful reference document to the new NMW rates. These can be downloaded by following the links provided below:
Key facts and figures (commercial organisations)
Key facts and figures (education providers)
In addition, there are some changes that came into force on 06 April 2020 regarding salaried hours work and reductions.
Where a salaried hours worker receives a salary premium (according to the definition in the legislation), it will not form part of the worker’s remuneration for NMW purposes. Employers will be able to pay premiums, for example, for working on bank holidays, without falling outside the definition of salaried hours work.
Frequency of payment
A salaried hours worker may be paid in equal instalments which are not more often than weekly and not less often than monthly. This provides additional flexibility to employers relating to the frequency with which they can make equal payments to salaried workers.
Choosing the calculation year
Employers will also be able to choose a calculation year for their workers. The amendment enables employers to change the worker’s calculation year so that it begins with a day chosen by the employer. Employers can do this by giving the worker at least three months’ written notice, provided that certain requirements are met. For example, the written notice must include an explanation of the effect of the change and a change to the worker’s calculation year must not have taken effect within the period of six years ending with the day on which the notice specifies that the alternative calculation year begins.
Where an employer specifies an alternative calculation year, the change will take effect on the day the alternative calculation year begins and, in each subsequent year, the calculation year is a year beginning on the anniversary of that day.
Reductions for NMW purposes
Where a worker purchases goods or services from their employer to comply with a requirement imposed by the employer (for example, purchase of a uniform), this will not be a reduction for NMW purposes if the employer reimburses the worker for the purchase or intends to do so. Additionally, payments paid by, or due from, a worker to their employer relating to expenditure in connection with their employment will not be a reduction if the employer reimburses the worker or intends to do so. This makes this provision consistent with the position where the payment on account of such expenditure is to a third party.
The amendments made to reductions will not take effect until the first pay reference period beginning on or after 06 April 2020.