Don't Forget the April Employment Law Changes

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis

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18 Mar 2020

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In light of the coronavirus outbreak, employers up and down the UK could be forgiven for forgetting about some key changes that are happening next month.

However, there are still a large number of developments next month that we all need to be prepared for, including:

April Employment Law Changes

Parental bereavement leave

Up until recently, we weren’t sure when this would come into effect. However, in January, the government finally the date parental bereavement leave is to be introduced: 6th April 2020.

So what does this mean?

All parents who suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be able to take up to two weeks of leave to help them process their loss. They will have 56 weeks from the date of the death in which to take their leave, which can be taken in blocks of one or two weeks.

For employees who have worked at your company for 26 weeks or over, they may also be entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay. This will be £151.20 per week.

Agency workers

Agency workers are to receive a number of additional rights from 6th April 2020.

The first thing to note is that all workers will need to receive a Key Facts Page setting out the terms they can expect to apply to their assignment.

In addition, Swedish derogation contracts are to be banned. But what are these contracts?

Well, agency workers have the legal right to receive equal pay, and treatment, to full-time employees after they have been assigned to an end-user (the company they are currently working for) for 12 weeks. However, under Swedish derogation arrangements, they don’t receive this right as the agency pays them between assignments.

These contracts must cease from 6th April. Any workers who are currently on them will also need to be given a written statement by no later than 30th April confirming this.

Holiday pay reference periods

Calculating holiday pay for flexible workers, or those who work differing hours from week to week, can be difficult. Up until now, the rule was to take their average weekly earnings over the previous 12 weeks and pay time off in accordance with this.

From 6 April, this is to be extended to 52 weeks. The idea is to make the process fairer and ensure that workers in this position are getting their full entitlement to holiday pay.

A word about employment contracts

Currently, every employee reserves the right to receive a statement of written particulars within two months of starting their employment. This gives them key information regarding their role, such as pay, hours, holiday entitlements etc.

From 6th April 2020, they will have to be given this on day one of their employment. Individuals classed as workers will also have the right to receive a written statement outlining the same information.

2020 going forward

With the coronavirus being the hot topic at the moment, it remains to be seen what further changes we will see as the year goes on. A big area that was expected to dominate headlines was Brexit, and currently there are no plans to extend the current transitional period past the 31 December date. However, this could also be subject to change going forward.

For now, you should follow the latest advice on managing the coronavirus and make sure you are ready for the April changes.

Expert support

If you have questions about the upcoming changes, or just have an HR or employment law query, speak to a Croner expert today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis is the senior manager of the Litigation and Employment Department and assumes additional responsibility for managing Croner’s office based telephone HR advisory teams, who specialise in employment law, HR and commercial legal advice for small & large organisations across the United Kingdom.

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