Employment Law Changes
Each year in April, the government implement any new HR legislation which has passed through parliament. This year several key changes will be coming into effect and these could have an impact on the ‘written statement of particulars’ or contract of employment currently offered by employers.
To help you find out if they might impact you, we’ve outlined the changes below:
Timings of the contract
The government currently allows employers an 8-week window in which to provide their employees with a contract of employment. However, as of April 2020, this 8-week window will no longer apply. Employers will now have to make sure they provide an employment contract to their employees by the first day of their employment.
Terms of the contract
There are several new terms which need to be detailed within the contract, these include:
- Details of training that the employee must complete. Including any training not financed by the employer for the employee.
- Any terms relating to an employee’s paid leave. This is in addition to any holiday or sick pay and now also includes any unpaid and voluntary work leave.
- Description and terms of any benefits provided by the employer. As of April, any additional benefits provided by the employer will need to be detailed. It is currently limited to details of pension, sickness or holiday benefit.
How does this affect existing employers?
Employees with an existing contract in place will not automatically require a new contract of employment. However, they can choose to request an updated version of the contract, in line with the April changes. If they make this request, employers will have four weeks to issue a new contract of employment.
*If you are a Stafftax customer, please contact your HR advisers via the contact details in your Members Area and they will be able to sort this for you.
Are there any other changes?
There are increases to the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and to Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay. There are also changes to holiday pay calculations for employees working irregular hours.
Holiday Pay Changes
The new announcement regarding holiday pay calculations for workers with irregular hours, will mean that If you have an employee who works irregular hours there will be a slight change to how their holiday pay is calculated.
Previously, their holiday pay will have been calculated based on a 12 weeks average period - in other words an average taken from 12 weeks worth of working hours. This is now changing to 52 weeks.
Put simply, their holiday pay will be based on an average figure that's calculated over 52 weeks that they have worked, as opposed to 12. This should result in a 'fairer' average figure as it will take into account a year's worth of working hours.
The new Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act will give all employed parents a day-one right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. It also states that primary carers (such as close relatives or family friends who have taken responsibility for the child’s care) will also be entitled to time off work.
Employees who have worked 26 weeks continuously will receive paid leave at the statutory rate and those who don't meet this criteria will be entitled to unpaid leave.