July 2, 2020
Despite the fact we are currently battling an ongoing global pandemic and dealing with the impact of corona virus. Each April, organisations must ensure they comply with the latest round of amended employment laws and deadlines. The changes to written statements of terms and conditions, the introduction of parental bereavement leave and pay, and changes to the law on calculating holiday pay for workers with irregular hours must all be considered and implemented.
Below are the 8 things we believe you should be considering/implementing:
- Comply with changes to written statements of terms and conditions:
From 6 April 2020, the requirement to provide a written statement of terms and conditions now extends to workers. This includes casual workers and zero hour contract workers.
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.
The following should be included:
What information is required in the written statement?
The legislation distinguishes between information which must be provided in a single document and information which can be in a supplementary statement (to which the principal statement refers).
Information which must be provided in a single document
- Names of employer and worker
- Date employment or engagement begins
- For employees only: date of continuous employment
- Rate of pay and frequency (weekly, monthly etc.) of payment
- Hours of work (including normal working hours, days of week and whether hours/days are variable
- Entitlement to holidays (including public holidays) and holiday pay
- Any other benefits (including non-contractual benefits)
- Length of notice of termination required from employer and worker
- Job title or brief description of work
- If applicable: Details of non-permanent employment or engagement (e.g. period of fixed-term contract)
- Any probationary period which starts at the beginning of the engagement, including conditions and duration
- Place of work and address of employer
- If the worker is required to work outside the UK for over a month: arrangements for working outside the UK (including period, currency of pay, additional pay and benefits and return terms)
- Any part of any training entitlement which the employer requires the worker to complete
- Any training which the employer requires but does not pay for
You should ensure that workers starting on or after 6 April 2020 are provided with compliant written statements on or before their first working day.
- Implement new right to parental bereavement leave and pay
From 6 April 2020 bereaved parents of a child who dies have a new right to take up to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave with pay at a statutory minimum rate.
This right extends to stillbirths occurring after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
It is therefore important to renew policies and company handbooks to reflect this new law, sometimes termed as “Jack’s Law”. The changes to the policies will need to be communicated to all employees and workers as soon as possible.
- Meet 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.
In March, however, the government announced it was suspending enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting requirements this year due to the corona virus outbreak.
This is however something to have on your radar screen as we continue to move out of lock-down. This is likely to be revived and it is always beneficial to be prepared.
- Ensure workers are paid national minimum wage
The national living wage for workers aged 25 and over increases to £8.72 per hour on 1 April 2020.
Other national minimum wage rates also increase on 1 April 2020, with hourly rates rising to £8.20 for workers aged 21 to 24, to £6.45 for workers aged 18 to 20 and to £4.55 for workers aged 16 or 17.
A employer must keep adequate records of all payments so that they can show that their organisation has complied with the national minimum wage rules.
- Increase family related pay and statutory sick pay
The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £151.20 from 5 April 2020.
The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases to £95.85 from 6 April 2020.
It is up to an employer to make sure that staff on maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental leave and sick leave are paid these statutory minimum rates.
Employers also need to review their policies and documents that mention the rates, such as their maternity policies and sickness absence procedures.
In the wake of corona virus (Covid-19), the Government 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. Employers should monitor the situation to ensure employees are paid at the appropriate time.
- Be aware of the change in redundancy pay calculations
New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay come into force on 6 April 2020.
Employers that dismiss employees for redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age. The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount. This amount is £538 from 6 April 2020.
HR professionals should ensure that calculations for statutory redundancy payments are made on the basis of this maximum amount for redundancy dismissals on or after 6 April 2020.
- Adjust holiday pay calculations for those workers with irregular hours
On 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period for workers without normal working hours increases from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
Employers will need to adjust how they 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.
Employers should also 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.
- 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, employers must ensure that agency workers who have completed the 12-week qualifying period are paid equally to other staff.