Cast your minds back to December 2018 and you may remember the government publishing the Good Work Plan in response to the Taylor review.
The plan set out many recommendations for changes for fairer and more decent employment practices for all workers.
April 2020 legislation sees the introduction of some new key pieces of law that as an employer you need to be aware of and we’ve rounded them up for you here.

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New rules on written Section 1 Statement of particulars

From 6 April 2020, employers must provide a written statement of employment particulars to all workers, not just to employees. The time frame in which to issue these will also change to not later than the start date of employment.

Current requirements for the document state it must include;

  • the names of the employer and employee;
  • the date of commencement of employment;
  • the date when continuous employment began;
  • terms relating to hours of work including any provisions relating to normal hours if any
  • pay or the method of calculation;
  • interval of payment
  • holiday and accrued holiday pay including any entitlement to bank holidays and accrued holiday pay on termination of employment, in sufficient detail to enable precise calculation of the sums
  • job title or brief job description
  • eligibility for sick pay and leave
  • notice periods both employer and worker are required to give
  • place of work or if there is none this must be indicated and the address of the employer included.
  • A note stating whether there is a contracting-out certificate in force under the Pension Schemes Act 1993
  • Certain information on disciplinary and grievance procedures

From 6 April 2020 legislation states it must also include;

  • the days of the week when the worker is required to work, and if and how working hours or days may be varied and how this will be determined
  • other types of paid leave (ie any statutory paid leave not limited to sick leave and pay such as any parental leave)
  • any benefits provided (ie not limited to sickness, pension and holiday benefits as at present)
  • probationary periods and conditions
  • expected length of temporary employment (includes fixed-term and time-limited contracts
  • all renumeration (not just pay) in cash or kind
  • where the employee is to work abroad for more than one month, the terms relating to working abroad, including the period of work outside the UK, currency of remuneration whilst abroad, any additional remuneration and benefits and any terms relating to his or her return
  • training that the worker must complete (including training for which the employer will not bear the cost)

There is additional information that is also required to be provided to an employee but which can be done in instalments, we would however recommend that one document contains all the requirements.

  • any pension terms, although this does not apply if the pension scheme is a statutory one and the pension body or authority has to provide the information;
  • collective agreements affecting the contract if any;
  • training that the employer will provide
  • a note:
    • specifying any disciplinary rules applicable to the employee or referring the employee to the provisions of a document specifying such rules that is reasonably accessible to the employee;
    • specifying any procedure applicable to the taking of disciplinary decisions relating to the employee, or to a decision to dismiss the employee, or referring the employee to the provisions of a document specifying such a procedure that is reasonably accessible to the employee;
    • specifying the person to whom the employee can apply if dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision relating to him or her or any decision to dismiss him or her and the manner in which any such application should be made;
    • specifying the person to whom the employee can apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to his or her employment and the manner in which any such application should be made; and
    • where there are further steps, explaining these or referring to the provisions of a document that gives an explanation and is reasonably accessible.

Contracts vivoHR have provided its clients already cover all the of current requirements and the good news is that you do not have to issue a new contract to existing employees unless they request  one. We are currently updating our documents and we will shortly be contacting any retained clients to update contract we have provided. If you do not a have a contract provided by us and want us to review your document please get in touch.

Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act

6 April 2020 legislation sees the introduction of the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act. Under the act primary carers – not just parents – will be entitled to time off work following the death of a child. This includes adopters, foster parents and guardians or anyone who has taken responsibility and been primary carers for the child in the absence of parents. 

The right will allow parent or carers to take two weeks’ leave following the loss of a child under 18 years old or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Leave can be taken within 56 weeks of the child’s death, in a block of two weeks, or two separate blocks of one week.

Employees will be entitled to parental bereavement leave from day one of their employment.

There will be a qualifying period of 26 weeks (ending the week before the date of death and to still be employed on the date of death) and normal weekly earnings in the eight weeks up to the week before the child’s death that are not less than the lower earnings limit for national insurance contribution purposes. for entitlement to statuary parental bereavement pay. If the employee does not qualify for statutory pay they will entitled to unpaid leave.

Immediate leave can be taken with no requirement to provide notice but the employer must be informed of the reason for the leave.

Should the leave be taken later into the 56 week period notice will be required and usually at least on 1 weeks’ notice will be sufficient.

At no point will employers be required to ask for anything more than a written declaration of entitlement to take leave. For example, there will be no need for the employee to provide a copy of the child’s death certificate or a letter from the child’s doctor.

The full regulations can be read here The Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020

The leave is paid at the lower of £151.20 per week or 90% of salary. Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (General) Regulations 2020

These are the minimum requirements of the act, should an employer wish to enhance their policy the government suggest offering more than 2 weeks leave, paying full pay or giving days that aren’t continuous.

Holiday pay calculations for workers with irregular hours

The reference period for calculating holiday pay for workers who do not work regular hours will increase from 12 to 52 weeks in April 2020 legislation. To calculate average weekly earning you will need to use the past 52 weeks, ignoring any weeks where the worker did not receive any pay.

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IR35 Changes

From 6 April 2020 responsibility for determining if IR35 applies to independent contractors will become the responsibility of the business, agency or other third party rather than the contractor for medium and large organisations. The rules are aimed at reducing tax avoidance for off-payroll contractors employed via personal service companies. Employers should review the contracts and pay arrangements for their contractors to determine how the new rules will affect them.

We will be sending further guidance on this soon, when we’ve worked out exactly what it means ourselves!

Removal of the Swedish Derogation

From 6 April 2020 agency workers whose contracts contain the Swedish Derogation provision will need to be provided with a written statement confirming that they no longer apply. If you are wondering that the Swedish Derogation actually is our lovely friends at Breathe can explain that for you in their blog

We will be sending further guidance on this soon, when we’ve worked out exactly what it means ourselves!

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