IN this article we look at important upcoming employment law changes to be aware of in 2020.

Holiday reference period

From April 2020, the holiday pay reference period will be lengthened from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

This will ensure that workers who do not have a regular working pattern throughout the year are not disadvantaged by having to take their holiday at a quiet time of the year when their weekly pay might be lower.

IR35 and off-payroll rules

Private sector IR35 reform is set for April 2020, when the public sector rules will be applied to the private sector. This means private sector employers hiring contractors will be responsible for determining their IR35 status. Businesses and contractors should start preparing for this change as soon as possible. The Government is launching consultation aimed at helping private sector employers with the transition.

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018

Under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, parents and primary carers will be entitled to time off work following the death of a child. This includes adopters, foster parents, and guardians, as well as more informal groups, such close relatives or family friends who have taken responsibility for the child’s care in the absence of parents.

If the employee has more than 26 weeks of continuous service, they’re entitled to the statutory rate for this two-week period. Otherwise, the leave will be unpaid.

It is expected this will come into force in April, although this is yet to be confirmed.

Amendments to agency worker rules

From April 6, 2020, agency workers will be entitled to receive a document known as a ‘Key facts page’. This document must contain specific details about their basic terms, including their type of contract, the minimum rate of pay they can expect, and how they will be paid.

Right to a written statement of terms

Currently employers have up to two months to issue a statement of employment terms to any employee working for them for more than a month (usually in the form of a contract of employment), but from April 6, 2020, employees and workers must be provided with their written statement on or before their first day of employment.

There is additional information that written statements will need to contain, including:

  • the hours and days of the week the worker/employee is required to work, whether they may be varied and how
  • entitlements to any paid leave
  • any other benefits not covered elsewhere in the written statement
  • details of any probationary period
  • details of training provided by the employer.

It is important for employers to consider how any of the above may affect them and take any necessary steps in preparation for the changes.

This alert does not provide a full statement of the law, and readers are advised to take legal advice before taking any action based on the information set out above. If you would like specific advice in relation to any employment law or HR related issues please contact our employment team on 01228 552600 or 01524 548494.

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