The New Year and new decade is well underway with a number of employment law developments already on the horizon. What do you need to do to ensure your business is meeting its obligations and is prepared for the year ahead?

Get Brexit workforce planning

After leaving the European Union on 31 January 2020, employers should ensure that all their EEA workers obtain settled or pre-settled status, to enable them to stay at the end of the transition period. The current position is that EEA nationals who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to make an application.

Employers should carry out an audit of their workforce and consider where there may be staffing issues if they currently rely on EEA nationals. They should look for potential skills gaps and consider the impact of the new immigration system.

Employers should also prepare for the new immigration system that will be in place after the transition period. The Migration Advisory Commission is expected to report any day now, having considered options for a new points-based system.

Comply with the new rules on written statements of particulars

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 6 April 2020, all new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particulars from their first day of employment.

Given the new obligation to provide particulars on ‘day one’, employers should begin preparation the drafting of the statement of particulars during the recruitment stage and ensure that these include every element of the new requirement. It is also worth considering who might qualify as a worker, issuing contracts of employment only to employees and using a separate template when issuing particulars for workers.

In addition to the written particulars being given on day one, the following information is required to be included:

  • Name of employer and employee
  • Start date and date of continuous service
  • Pay and interval of payment
  • Hours of work including days of week the employee is required to work
  • Holiday entitlement and holiday pay
  • Job title
  • Place of work
  • Who the employee can appeal to relating to a grievance or disciplinary process
  • Any other benefits provided
  • Any probationary period including conditions and duration
  • Any training entitlement provided by the employer
  • Notice periods for termination by either side
  • Terms as to length of temporary or fixed term work, if appropriate
  • Terms related to work outside of UK for a period of more than one month, if appropriate

These changes will only apply to new employees. However, transitional provisions will apply to employees whose employment started after 30 November 1993. If employees request a section 1 statement, you must provide a statement within one month. If there is a change in any particulars and the employee has not requested an updated section 1 statement, employers must notify them of the change in the normal way.

Amend policies to include parental bereavement leave and pay

The right to parental bereavement leave and pay is expected to come into force in April 2020. The right will allow parents of a child under the age of 18 who has died to take two weeks’ leave. It will be available to the birth parents or those with parental responsibility for the child and can be taken within 56 weeks of the child’s death, in a block of two weeks, or two blocks of one week.

Employees will be entitled to parental bereavement leave from day one of their employment, but there will be a qualifying period of 26 weeks for entitlement to parental bereavement pay.

The government has not yet published the regulations that will finalise the details for the introduction of parental bereavement leave and pay.

Change how you calculate holiday pay for workers with irregular hours

The holiday pay reference period will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks from 6 April 2020. 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, to calculate the average weekly pay.

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

Review your contracts for IR35 in the private sector – delayed until April 2021

Reforms to the IR35 rules on off-payroll working were due to be extended to medium and large private-sector employers in April 2020. However, the government has confirmed that this has now been delayed until April 2021 because of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

2020 National Minimum Wage

The National Living Wage (over 25 year olds) A 6.2% increase from £8.21 to £8.72
21-24 year olds A 6.5% increase from £7.70 to £8.20
18-20 year olds A 4.9% increase from £6.15 to £6.45
Under 18s A 4.6% increase from £4.35 to £4.55
Apprentices A 6.4% increase from £3.90 to £4.15

2020 Bank Holidays

New Year’s Day Wednesday 1st January
Good Friday Friday 10th April
Easter Monday Monday 13th April
May Day Friday 8th May
Spring Bank Holiday Monday 25th May
Summer Bank Holiday Monday 31st August
Christmas Day Friday 25th December
Boxing Day Monday 28th December

There is certainly a lot to take in when it comes to 2020’s employment legislation changes. You may be confused as to what you should do next; it’s understandable. Our HR consultants are on hand to talk you through the above changes as well as help you comply with your responsibilities as an employer.

For more information call our team on 0808 168 5780.