All Change! The April 2020 Employment Law Changes
It is nearly that time of year again when Employment Laws as we have known them for the previous 12 months are subject to change.
A number of Employment Law changes are due to take effect from 6 April 2020 and we have prepared a summary of the key provisions that employers need to be aware of.
New right to a written statement of terms
At present, employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must receive a written statement of terms of employment within two months of employment commencing.
With effect from 6 April 2020 this becomes a Day One Right. All new employees and workers will have the right to a statement of written particulars from their first day of employment, irrespective of the length of their engagement.
As well as statements becoming due on Day One of employment with effect from 6 April 2020 they will also need to include additional information including:
• Working days
• Variability in hours / days
• Any paid leave, for example, maternity leave
• All benefits
• Any probationary period
• Certain information on training
There is no need to update contracts of employment / statements of particulars for individuals who started employment before April 2020. However, if an existing employees requests a new written statement they must be provided with one that complies with the new requirements.
The Agency Workers Rules
Agency workers have the right to the same pay and basic working conditions as direct recruits after 12 weeks’ continuous service in the same role and this is known as the equal treatment principle.
Currently, there is an exemption from the right to equal treatment as regards pay (including holiday pay) if an agency worker is employed under a permanent contract of employment with the agency and is paid a minimum amount between assignments. This is called the Swedish Derogation.
The Swedish derogation is being abolished from 6 April 2020 and following this, all agency workers will be entitled to equal pay with direct recruits after 12 weeks in the same role. Written notification that the derogation will no longer have effect must be provided by the agency to workers whose contracts have a Swedish derogation provision by 30 April 2020.
Holiday pay reference period
Currently, the holiday pay reference period is 12 weeks for workers with no normal working hours, or for those with normal working hours but whose pay varies with the amount of work done, or the time which the work is done.
From 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks for these workers. In practice this means that 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. Where a worker has been employed for less than 52 weeks, the reference period will be the number of weeks they have been employed.
The new legislation does not cover the calculation of holiday pay for workers with ‘normal working hours’ whose pay does not vary and employer can make any necessary calculations with reference to an undefined “representative period”. In practice, even although the new legislation does not apply to these workers, it might result in tribunals being more inclined to view 52 weeks as being ‘representative’ and employers may want to give considered to using the 52 week calculation window as standard.
Lower information and consultation threshold
The threshold required for a valid request to set up an information and consultation arrangement is being lowered from 10% of the workforce to 2%.
If you have any questions about any of these changes or want to understand how they may affect your business please contact a member of the Employment Law team on 01274 864999.