Changes to Employment Legislation April 2020 – what an Employer needs to know.

Every April the Government updates and amends employment laws and deadlines. Your HR Manager must ensure that your organisation complies with these amendments. However, this year, the Government introduced some pretty major changes. Here’s the lowdown on what you need to know as an Employer.

Parental Bereavement Leave

The new Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act gives all employed parents a right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

This is a day one right and there are no qualifying criteria.  Notice requirements for taking the leave will be flexible, so it can be taken at short notice. The two weeks’ leave can be taken either in one block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each. However, It must be taken within 56 weeks of the date of the child’s death.

Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service who have sufficient earnings will also be entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay at the rate of £151.20 per week.

Bereaved parents who opt to grieve at home utilising their statutory leave shall be entitled to the same employment protections as those employees entitled to other forms of leave, such as maternity/paternity leave.

What you need to do:

Review your organisation’s policies and procedures to ensure that they include time off for bereaved parents. Organisations will need to communicate these policy changes as soon as possible, ideally by 3 April 2020. Line managers will also require guidance on how to manage parental bereavement leave.

​Information and Consultation Regulations

From 6th April 2020, the threshold for making a valid request to set up information and consultation arrangements will be lowered from 10% to 2% of the workforce. Although, there will still need to be 15 employees making the request.

What you need to do:

Update your organisation’s policies and procedures to reflect this change. Ensure these changes are communicated to employee representatives.

Holiday reference period

From 6th April, the reference period for calculating holiday pay will increase from 12 to 52 weeks. Where a worker has been employed for less than 52 weeks, the holiday reference period is the number of weeks for which the worker has been employed.

What you need to do:

Adjust how you calculate holiday pay for workers with irregular hours, for example those in seasonal or atypical roles. Your organisation’s holiday policy may also require adjusting if it refers to the holiday pay reference period. Check the contracts of employment of workers with irregular working hours to ensure that, where the reference period is mentioned, it is updated with the new period. ​

Statement of Particulars (Terms & Conditions)

A further change will impact on the issuing of written statements of particulars. The entitlement to receive a statement of ‘written particulars’ (on basic employment terms and conditions) will now include workers as well as employees and although currently employers have up to 2 months to issue such a statement, it will now become a day one right with no minimum length of service.

Additional necessary inclusions within the statement of terms will be as follows:

  • days of the week they are required to work
  • confirmation if hours are variable and if so, how that variation will apply
  • details of any paid leave (e.g. maternity/paternity/birthday/bereavement leave)
  • all remuneration and benefits (e.g. commission, bonus, company discounts, other subsidised benefits)
  • details of probation period
  • details of training provided and any mandatory training that must be paid for

What you need to do:

Ensure that workers starting on or after 6 April 2020 are provided with compliant written statements on or before their first working day.

National Minimum Wage

Changes to the National Living Wage will come in to effect in April 2020. These new rates of pay will be as follows:

  • £8.72 per hour – 25 yrs old and over (NLW)
  • £8.20 per hour – 21 yrs old and over
  • £6.45 per hour – 18-20 yrs old
  • £4.55 per hour – under 18 yrs old
  • £4.15 per hour – Apprentices under 19 or anyone in the first year of their apprenticeship

What you need to do:

Keep adequate records of all payments so that you can show that your organisation has complied with the national minimum wage rules.

Statutory maternity and adoption

Statutory maternity and adoption pay is payable at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks, with the remaining 33 weeks being paid at the statutory rate, or 90% of their average weekly earnings if this is less.

The rates of statutory maternity/paternity/adoption and shared parental pay will go up this year from £148.68 to £151.20 per week (or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings if this figure is less than the statutory rate).​

What you need to do:

Review your policies and documents that mention the rates, such as your family leave policies and ensure these are up to date.

Statutory Sick Pay

The maximum rate of statutory sick pay will go up from £94.25 to £95.85 per week.

To be entitled to statutory payments, an employee’s average earnings must be equal to or more than the lower earnings limit, which will increase from £118 to £120 per week.

What you need to do:

Review your policies and documents that mention the rates, such as your sickness absence procedures.0 In the wake of coronavirus (Covid-19), the Government has announced that it will introduce measures requiring employers to pay statutory sick pay from the first day of an employee’s sickness, rather than after three waiting days. You should monitor the situation to ensure employees are paid at the appropriate time.

Keeping up to date and ensuring compliance with all of the various employment regulations is extremely time-consuming and takes you away from growing your business. At The HR Genie we specialise in outsourced HR services and HR support systems that help businesses grow, saving you time and money as well as giving you peace of mind that your human resources are being handled by experts.

We are CIPD qualified and have many years’ experience of working with businesses large and small.

Why not get in touch for a no-obligation conversation?

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