As an Employer, What Changes Should I Have Made as of 6th April 2020?

posted by KeithDaniel

April 2020 has been an important month for both employers and us as employment lawyers, with a number of changes to the law being implemented.

This article is intended to be used as a checklist for employers to ensure that they have complied with their new legal requirements. 

Written statement of key terms/employment particulars

As of 6th April 2020, employers are now required to provide employees with their written statement of key terms/employment particulars on or before the first day of work as opposed to within two months. This right has also be extended to workers.

In addition, an employer needs to include the following information within the statement of key terms/employment particulars:

  • The days of the week that the employee/worker is required to work, and if someone’s hours or days are variable, an employer will need to include details of how the variation will occur;
  • Any rights to paid leave, including maternity leave and paternity leave – it will be enough to sign-post employees to a staff handbook that contains policies concerning maternity leave and paternity leave;
  • Any probationary period, including its duration and any conditions;
  • Details of any training provided by the employer, any training the employee/worker is required to complete and any training of which the employer will not bear the cost;
  • Details of any other benefits or remuneration provided, e.g. health insurance, child-care vouchers;
  • Notice periods for termination;
  • Details regarding the length of temporary or fixed-term contracts;
  • Information concerning sick leave and pay; and
  • Whether or not the employer/worker will be required to work outside the UK for a continuous period of more than one month.

Holiday Reference Period

On the 6th April 2020, the reference period used for determining a week’s pay when calculating holiday pay for workers with irregular hours changed. Where a worker has been with their employer for at least 52 weeks, the reference period has now increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. For those workers who have been with their employer for less than 52 weeks, their reference period will amount to the number of weeks that they have been employed.

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage

On the 6th April 2020 the National Living Wage (for over 25-year olds) increased from £8.21 to £8.72.

The National Minimum Wage for all age groups also increased as follows:

  • A 6.5% increase from £7.70 to £8.20 for 21-24 year olds
  • A 4.9% increase from £6.15 to £6.45 for 18-20 year olds
  • A 4.6% increase from £4.35 to £4.55 for under 18s
  • A 6.4% increase from £3.90 to £4.15 for Apprentices

National Insurance Contributions on Termination Payments

Termination payments in excess of £30,000 were previously subject to income tax, however, they are now also subject to employer national insurance contributions (NICs). Those payments under £30,000 will remain free from tax and NICs.

Parental Bereavement Leave

Parents and primary carers who suffer the loss of a child are now entitled to at least two weeks’ paid parental bereavement leave under the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018. This will apply to the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Those employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to receive paid leave at the statutory rate and other staff will be entitled to unpaid leave.

To ensure organisations are compliant with the changes addressed in this article, we are offering to review and update their contracts of employment and offer letters (to include the relevant changes) for a fixed fee of £275.00 plus VAT.

If you would like more information about the changes addressed in this article or any other aspect of employment law, please contact us on 02920 345511 or at employment@berrysmith.com