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April 2020 onwards will see a number of changes and employers should be taking practical steps now to ensure that they are fully prepared. Here are a few of the key changes that should be noted by all.

The National Minimum Wage

Complying with National Minimum Wage (NMW) and other statutory changes is a must. The rates for the NMW will increase on 1 April 2020. The National Living Wage rate, for workers aged 25 and over, will increase from £8.21 to £8.72.

Holiday Pay

The calculation of holiday pay for those with variable hours can be complicated. The current holiday pay reference period is 12 weeks. At the moment, this is calculated by taking an average of pay over 12 weeks (discounting any weeks of zero pay). From 6th April 2020 this will extend to 52 weeks. The employer will be required to look back at the previous 52 weeks where an employee has worked and received pay, discarding any weeks not worked or where no pay was received, to calculate the average weekly pay.

Parental Bereavement Leave  

Currently there is no law surrounding Parental Bereavement Leave. From April 2020 employed parents who have lost a child (including a still birth after 24 weeks of pregnancy) will be entitled to two weeks’ leave (irrespective of their length of service) to allow them time to grieve away from the workplace. Parental Bereavement Leave and pay will be available to be taken as a single block or as two separate weeks. Employed parents will have a period of 56 weeks in which to use their entitlement.

Written Statement of Terms

At the moment, the current law states that employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written statement of terms within 2 months of employment commencing.

From April 6 2020, all new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written terms from their first day of employment. It will not apply to existing employees or workers unless they specifically request a written statement that complies with the new requirements.

Agency Workers

The “Swedish Derogation” currently allows employment businesses to avoid pay parity between agency workers and direct employees if certain conditions are met. However, on 6 April 2020 including such a provision will be banned. Temporary work agencies need to ensure that existing agency workers contracts’ that contain a Swedish derogation provision, includes a written statement to advise that it no longer applies, by no later than 30 April 2020.

IR35 Legislation

Before 6 April 2020, if your worker provides services to a client through you:

  • in the public sector, the client must decide your employment status
  • in the private sector, you must decide your worker’s status

From 6 April 2020, all public sector clients and medium or large-sized private sector clients will be responsible for deciding your worker’s employment status. This includes some charities and third sector organisations.

Zero Hours Workers

It is proposed to give all workers (including zero-hours workers and agency workers) the right to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks’ service. Consideration is also being given to introducing the right for workers to switch to a contract that reflects their normal working hours.

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