We look at five key employment law changes which come into effect in April 2020.

New Right to a Written Statement of Terms

Currently, employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written statement of terms within two months of employment commencing.

From the 6th April 2020, all new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particulars from their first day of employment. Additional information will have to be included as part of the extended right.

Amendments to Agency Workers Rules

The Agency Worker Regulations entitles agency workers to receive the same pay and basic working conditions as permanent employees once they have completed 12 weeks’ continuous service working in the same role. The ‘Swedish derogation’ or to give it it’s official name a “pay between assignments” contract, provides an exemption to the right to pay parity with comparable permanent staff in return for a guarantee to receive a certain amount of pay when there are gaps between assignments.

From 6th April the Swedish derogation is removed. Once agency workers have satisfied the 12-week qualifying period, they will be entitled to equal pay to workers who are employed directly by the employer.

In addition, all agency work seekers must be provided with a Key Information Document (KID), before agreeing terms with an employment business. The KID is intended to give agency workers a number of pay related facts, along with some other details about their engagement.

Changes to IR35 Rules

The current 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. Currently, it is the intermediary’s responsibility to determine whether IR35 applies.

Under the new rules, for all contracts entered into, or payments made on or after 6th April, the onus will move from the PSC to the end user client to make a status determination. Responsibility for accounting for tax and national insurance will move to the party who pays for the individual’s services, known as the ‘fee-payer’.

It is important that you carry out an assessment to determine whether the new rules under IR35 apply to your independent contractors and review their contracts and pay arrangements.

Holiday Pay Reference Period Adjustment

The calculation of holiday pay can be complicated, particularly for those with variable hours and variable rates of remuneration such as temporary workers. Currently, the holiday pay reference period is 12 weeks but from 6th April, this will increase to 52 weeks.

It is hoped that this change will help to even out the variation in pay for workers, particularly those in seasonal roles.

When calculating the average weekly pay, employers will be required to look back at the previous 52 weeks where a worker has worked and received pay, discarding any weeks not worked or where no pay was received.

New Parental Bereavement Law

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is expected to come into force in April 2020.  The Act gives bereaved parents 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.

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.

Details of the new entitlement and those who will qualify will be set out in separate regulations.

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 two weeks of unpaid leave.

If you need more advice on any of these employment law changes, please get in touch. 01722 334433