New Legislation in Employment Law in 2020.
We now have Legislation changes in place in Employment law and these are designed to provide greater protection for those working under flexible working arrangements, changes in holiday calculation periods and increased protection for agency workers.
The changes above are all part of the “Good Work Plan”, we always aim to arm you with knowledge and help you to better understand the information in the HR and Employment Law world both current and what to plan for in the next few months.
Along with the NNW/NLW and other Statutory increments that we have seen on 1 April 2020 there are many more changes that are in line with the Good Work Plan, let’s briefly take a look back at the Good Work Plan.
The background to the Good Work Plan
The review was undertaken in 2017 as it was recognised there was a need for change, this was called “The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices”, from this report 53 recommendations were put forward by Matthew Taylor and from this report, the majority of them were accepted in principle by the government.
It was in 2019 when the final publication of the Good Work Plan was released, and this was described as the “vision for the future of the UK labour market”.
What do we know that has already been implemented
It is in the main widely know employees have the right to an itemised payslip, this right was extended to all on 6 April 2019. Previously this included just employees, however from the date above this right was extended to include:
- Agency staff
- Zero Hours staff
- Casual Staff
- And any other types of staff who are included on the payroll.
We have also seen changes on 1 April 2020 to statutory payments.
Written Statements of Employment Particulars – New change on 6 April 2020
A key change in Legislation is the provision of a written statement of employment particulars, there are key changes in this area, we have ensured here that we have listed the key areas that you need for each document.
What has changed in this area and what do you need to do
Under the new Legislation the Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 & Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019, employees commencing employment on or after 6 April 2020 must be now be provided with the “Written Statement of Employment Particulars” on their first day of employment.
This is made up of:
The main document (known as a “principle statement”)
A wider written statement
It is important to note that the “Wider Written Statement” need not be provided on the first day of employment and can still be issued within 2 months.
Along with both parties names there is detailed content requirements, which must include:
Job title or description of duties;
Duration of contract, Permanent, Fixed Term, Zero etc, specify how long it is expected to last;
Terms relating to days or weeks they are required to work;
Salary, how much they will be paid, timing of payment and how;
Location of work, if variable it needs to specify this, relocation where necessary;
Hours & days of work which may be variable, & how that variation is calculated;
Any terms relating to paid leave such as mat leave;
Benefits provided such as medical cover, bonuses etc;
Details of any probationary period, & length of probation any conditions applicable;
Any training provided, including that which is a prerequisite of the role & any other training they must complete, but for which the employer will not contribute towards; and
Specify if role requires employee to work outside UK and additional details ie; pay, currency, travel, benefits.
Upon providing the “Wider Written Statement” you need to add further and fuller details:
Any other rights non-compulsory training provided by the employer; and
Disciplinary and Grievance procedures.
Another change that has taken place is for Agency Workers
In line with new Legislation from 6 April 2020, the “Swedish Derogation” has now been abolished. The opt-out has now been removed meaning agency workers will have a right to pay parity after 12 weeks.
Agencies are also obliged to provide workers with a document to be known as a “Key Facts “ page, this will provide the worker with basic information in relation to their contract, pay arrangements and salary.
Holiday Calculation Periods Have Changed
The change to holiday calculation periods has now changed from April 6 2020, you will therefore use a referencing period of 52 weeks (pay reference period), or for anyone working less than 52 weeks, you would record the actual number they have worked, this will include variable working patterns including zero hours, seasonal and temporary workers.
This method will result in a payment which balances out any peaks and troughs of working hours throughout the year. The mandatory reference period for calculating holiday pay will increase for employees with variable pay, such as zero hour workers.
New legislation has been introduced “Parental Bereavement Leave”
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 has now come into force on 6 April 2020. This will also be known as ‘Jack’s Law’ in memory of a child whose mother campaigned on the issue, this is a statutory right to a minimum of two weeks’ leave for all employed parents if they lose a child who is under the age of 18 or if a baby is stillborn from 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Jacks Law, will protect all parents employed with a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service, parents will also be entitled to receive statutory parental bereavement pay. Individuals with less than 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to take two weeks of unpaid leave.
Bereaved parents will be entitled to take their leave over a 2-week period or take 2 two separate weeks.
The leave must be taken before the end of a period of at least 56 days beginning with the date of the child’s death.
The Good Work Plan contains changes with no set implementation, we have detailed most below, and we will of course keep you updated:
Changes to Break in Service” periods an increase for employees
Currently, a gap of one week or more is sufficient to be classed as a break in an employees continuity of service.
There are exceptions to this, in situations where legislation dictates that continuity is then preserved for a longer period, for instance: redundancy and also incapacity dismissals.
In the new proposal the government has made the commitment to increase the gap required to break continuity of service to four weeks.
Inevitably this will make it easier for employees with irregular working patterns to accumulate continuity of service.
New rights to a “more stable” contract”
In line with the Good Work Plan, the government has also committed to the introduction of the right to a more stable working pattern, this would be subject to have acquiring at least 26 weeks service and will apply to both employees and workers.
This would undoubtedly assist seasonal, temporary, zero hours and anyone working on irregular hours at the moment. No date has been set for go live.
Changes to flexible working – how will this affect you
in this area even The Queen (along with many other areas of The Good Work Plan) has been discussing this as part of her Christmas message.
There are proposals which are under consideration, these affect the right to a reasonable amount of notice to any working hours. The right not to suffer any detriment when refusing hours of work at unreasonable notice and the right to be compensated when hours due to be worked are cancelled without a reasonable notice period.
Changes to “Tips and Gratuity’s” How will this affect you
New rules will be introduced although no date has been decided, this will ensure that all “tips and Gratuity’s are given directly to the employee/worker in the future rather than the employer.
Changes to consultation and Information arrangements – how will this affect you
The review identified that inclusion for employees is currently disproportionate, representation on topics in the workplace on particular subject matters, the divulgence of information and in particular the consultation process.
At present support is required from at least 10% of the workforce, this will be reduced dramatically to 2%, it has been agreed that the minimum of 15 employees will remain in force.
We are experts in TUPE, Redundancy and happy to assist you with any part of the process.
Enforcement will take place – how will this affect you
Hopefully this will not apply to you, as you will never be in the unfortunate situation of having to face a tribunal claim.
Under any of the final proposals once launched, employers will face an enforcement proceeding to include penalty of up to 50% of the unpaid compensation award. This may also include a public “naming and shaming”.
We can assist you whereby you are facing any claim being brought against you or potential claim, please do not delay.
The Good Work Plan in conjunction with Taylor Review is in-depth, overall this is a brief overview of a huge overhaul of Employment Law, we have only brought to you some key highlights today, please do contact us for more information and clarity, we can help and assist you with any concerns you may have and how they will affect you.
If you require any assistance please do get in touch, we are more than happy to provide you with any bespoke documentation upon request.
Author: Fran Crossland
8 April 2020