What’s new? April 2020 Employment Law Updates!

April is usually a time when we are busy talking about all of the new updates to employment law and making changes, however with the current COVID-19 crisis being hot topic, this has of course, not been as high on people’s agendas.  We have all been busy trying to understand furlough, how to claim on the job retention scheme, how to deal with sick pay, self-isolating and shielding employees etc, but we cannot ignore these changes to employment law and must ensure that organisations comply with the new pieces of legislation.

As well as the usual increases to statutory payments, there are a number of other points you need to know to keep you in line with the law. In addition to the below, the government has confirmed the that extension of IR35 tax rules to private sector employers will be delayed until 6th April 2021.

Changes to Written Statements of Terms and Conditions

From the 6th April 2020 it is a requirement to issue a written statement of terms and conditions on day 1 (the right to a statement no longer requires a minimum length of service and applies from the worker’s first day working for the organisation). This is for both employees and workers, including casual and zero-hour workers.

There are a number of changes to the contents itself also and so it is a good idea to have your template reviewed.

For those of you who currently send out their written statements with their offers of employment, prior to the proposed start date, this will not make a lot of difference provided their statements comply with the new requirements.

New right to Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 (also known as Jack’s Law) provides at least two weeks’ leave for employees following the loss of a child under 18 on or after 6th April 2020, including parents who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

All employees regardless of length of service are entitled to parental bereavement leave and those with 26 weeks continuous employment and who meet earnings requirements will be entitled to statutory parental bereavement leave pay.

Third Gender Pay Gap Reporting Deadline

Most businesses with 250 or more employees would have already been in the process of finalising their gender pay gap reports, their third one since the reporting requirements came into force in April 2017. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the government announced it would suspend the reporting requirements this year.

Given that the dates for reporting were 30th March for the public sector and 4th April for the private and voluntary sector, most employers would have the data ready and so encouraged to report this once the outbreak has passed.

Statutory Payment Increases

Ensure that updates are made to calculations of statutory pay. New rates as below:

Weekly payments April 2020
Maternity/Paternity/Adoption/Shared parental pay (from 5th April) £151.20
Sick Pay (from 6th April) £95.85
Redundancy Maximum Weekly Pay Cap (from 6th April) £538
Hourly payments (from 1st April)
National Living Wage Workers aged 25 and over £8.72
Workers aged 21-24 £8.20
Workers aged 18-20 £6.45
Workers ages 16-17 £4.55
Apprentice rate* £4.15
*Apprentices are entitled to apprentice rate if they are either aged under 19 or over 19 and in the first year of their apprentice. Otherwise NMW applies


Adjust holiday pay calculations for workers with irregular hours

From 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period for workers without normal working hours increases from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

You will therefore need to adjust how you calculate holiday pay for those working irregular hours and possibly amend any leave policy that refers to the holiday pay reference period.

Ensure qualifying agency workers receive equal pay

On 6 April 2020, the ability for employers to pay agency workers less than their own workers in certain circumstances, also known as the “Swedish derogation”, is abolished.

Under the derogation, agency workers can exchange their right to be paid the same as directly recruited employees for a contract guaranteeing pay between assignments.

Following the abolition of the derogation, you must ensure that agency workers who have completed the 12-week qualifying period are paid equally to other staff.

As always, lot to consider, but we are here to support you. If you need help with this or anything else in the HR world, please contact us.


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