Recent changes in employment law

A potential business and HR headache, it’s just some of the things that can be expected when changes in employment law are introduced.

That’s exactly what has happened following the recent changes in April 2020, as businesses around the country have to tweak and change their policies to ensure they comply with the latest laws.

It can be a daunting amount of paperwork and things to learn but fear not, we’ve put together this blog to try and clarify some of the latest changes, as well as what you’ll need to do…

 

What changes can be expected?

Previously, employers had 56 days to provide a new member of staff with their Contract of Employment (COE or otherwise known as ‘written statement of employment particulars’), but that is now a thing of the past.

You’ll be breaking the law if you don’t provide the written statement of particulars either when they start, or before they start their first day, with some key information needed. These include, but are not limited to;

  • Employee name
  • Employer’s name
  • Pay.
  • Working Hours
  • Other rights and responsibilities
  • Start date
  • Job title
  • Benefits that can be expected in the role.
  • Leave, full information on both annual holiday entitlement paid and family leave.

Ensure that your contracts are reviewed in light of the recent changes and that they accurately reflect what is happening in practice. 

 

Any other significant changes?

Parental Bereavement Leave

With effect from 6 April 2020,  the Parental Bereavement Act is now in place. This gives parents, who have suffered a loss of their child under 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, the right to two weeks of paid leave.

The two weeks can be taken immediately, or they can be split into two, one-week blocks as long as it is within 56 days of the child’s death.

Holiday Pay

Holiday pay is also changing, with the HPRP (Holiday pay reference period) changing from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This will now consider the full year when determining holiday pay and will be a big benefit to those workers who are employed seasonally or in roles with varying shift patterns.

Abolition of Swedish Derogation

Finally, agency workers will now be entitled to the same wage as full-time staff once they have satisfied a 12-week qualifying period with the abolition of the Swedish Derogation provisions.

Increase in Compensation limits

  1. The limit on the compensatory award for “ordinary” unfair dismissal will increase from £86,444 to £88,519
  2. The maximum amount of a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating statutory redundancy payments and the basic award in unfair dismissal claims will increase from £525 to £538

Statutory rates increase

From 1st April 2020, the following rates will apply:

Category of worker

Hourly rate

Aged 25 and above (national living wage rate) £8.72
Aged 21 to 24 inclusive £8.20
Aged 18 to 20 inclusive £6.45
Aged under 18 (but above compulsory school leaving age) £4.55
Apprentices aged under 19 £4.15
Apprentices aged 19 and over, but in the first year of their apprenticeship £4.15

From 5th April 2020, the following rates will apply:

Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay will increase to £151.20 per week

Statutory Sick Pay increases to £95.85 per week although the amount you must actually pay an employee for each day they’re off work due to illness (the daily rate) depends on the number of ‘qualifying days’ they work each week.

If you are worried about the new updates and whether you are covered, then we can help at Spire HR. Simply get in touch on 01925 626 253, or you can send us an email on info@spirehr.co.uk.