Here are six important employment law changes coming in April 2020
With April a few weeks away, it is essential to remember all the changes to the law that are expected and, specifically, what employers need to do in response to this.
Here are six critical areas employers need to think about.
Statement of main terms (SMTs)
The provision of SMTs will become a day one right for employees and workers from 6 April 2020. SMTs also need to contain additional details for the first time, including entitlement to family-friendly leave, clarification of any probationary periods and confirmation of which specific days and times individuals are required to work.
Increase to minimum wage
National minimum wage (NMW) generally increases every April, and this year is no different. From 1 April 2020, all rates are to go up, with staff aged 25 and over now entitled to £8.72 per hour. Weeks’ pay for family leave, such as maternity leave, is to increase to £151.20 per week from 5 April 2020. Furthermore, awards for unfair dismissal are also to increase from 6 April 2020, with the compensatory award to be a maximum of £88,519, or 52 weeks of pay, whichever is lower.
Parental bereavement leave
The right to parental bereavement leave will also become effective from 6 April 2020. This will provide qualifying parents with the entitlement to two weeks of paid bereavement leave following the death of a child under the age of 18. Pay will be set at the same rates as other forms of family leave
Agency Workers ‘Key facts’ page
From 6 April 2020, agency work-seekers will have a right to receive a key information document to help them make informed choices about the work they accept. This document is required to clarify specific matters, including the type of contract the worker is employed under and their minimum rate of pay.
Extension of the holiday pay reference period
The holiday pay reference period, which is used to calculate the average pay of those who work irregular hours, will be extended from 12 to 52 weeks from 6 April 2020. It will be necessary for employers to keep track of employees’ working time throughout the year, including overtime, to ensure they are correctly remunerated while on annual leave.
End of Swedish derogation contracts
Organisations will no longer be able to make use of Swedish derogation contracts from 6 April 2020 as these contracts, which allow agencies to avoid providing agency workers with equal pay after 12 weeks’ of an assignment, will become unlawful.
Furthermore, all workers currently engaged on this type of contract will need to be provided with a statement confirming this is no longer the case by 30 April 2020.
Advice is by Kate Palmer, Associate Director of Advisory at global employment law consultancy, Peninsula.