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A number of employment law changes were introduced on the 6th April 2020.

However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, they may have been overlooked by employers and employees.  Accordingly, some of the key changes are outlined below:

Click on the image to access our updated Employment Team Fact Card PDF guide.

Emp Fact Card 2020

Changes to Pay

National Minimum Wage

Minimum wage rules apply to anyone classed as a worker – this includes:

  • People with a contract of employment;
  • Casual staff;
  • Temps;
  • Agency staff; and
  • Those working under an apprenticeship agreement.

National minimum wage and national living wage rates are legal entitlements which cannot be reduced or amended.

The national minimum wage rates were increased on the 6th April 2020. They are now as follows:

Category

  Rate of Pay (per hour)

25 and over

  £8.72

21-24

  £8.20

18-20

  £6.45

Under 18

  £4.55

Apprentices in their first year and/or under the age of 19

  £4.15

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Parents are now entitled to two weeks’ paid bereavement leave following the death of a child aged under the age of 18, or if a child has been stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Parental bereavement leave can be one week, two consecutive weeks, or two separate weeks. It can be taken at any time during the first 56 weeks after the child’s death.

An employee may also qualify for statutory parental bereavement pay (“SPBP”) during their parental bereavement leave if they:

  • Have at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment ending on the Saturday before the child died; and
  • Earn at least the lower earnings limit for class 1 national insurance contributions.

SPBP will be paid at the lower of:

  • £151.20 per week; or
  • 90% of their salary.

Holiday Pay Calculations

The period used to calculate a “week’s pay” for the purposes of holiday pay has been extended from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks.

Changes to Workers’ Rights

Written Statements of Employment Particulars

All workers employed on or after the 6th April 2020 must be provided with a written statement of employment particulars on or before their first day of employment.

Written statements of employment particulars are now required to contain the following information:

  • The hours and days of the week the employee is required to work;
  • Whether the hours and days they are required to work are variable, and how they may be varied;
  • Whether they have an entitlement to any paid leave;
  • Details of an existing probationary period;
  • Details of any training the employer is going to provide;
  • Any benefits not previously mentioned in the written statement.

Agency Workers’ Rights

The Agency Workers Regulations 2019 have made the following changes to agency workers’ rights:

  • All agency workers, who have completed the required 12-week qualifying period of work in the relevant role, will be entitled to equal pay. This means that agency workers can no longer opt out of their right to equal pay.
  • Agency workers that are considered to be employees are now protected from being unfairly dismissed or from suffering a detriment. These protections are available where the dismissal or detriment is related to agency workers asserting rights associated with the Agency Worker Regulations.
  • All agency workers will be entitled to a key information document which sets out their employment relationships and terms and conditions with their agency.

Postponing IR35

Changes to IR35 were set to come into force on the 6th April 2020.

The changes proposed that organisations of a medium or large size were to be responsible for deciding the employment status of contractors, for the purposes of tax. These changes were aimed at improving the compliance with existing rules, ensuring that the right tax was being paid by contractors.

These changes have now been postponed and will now come into force on the 6th April 2021.

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