Written Statement of Terms of Employment
There are a number of new laws that came into force on 6th April 2020. They affect employers in Great Britain, but not (currently) Northern Ireland.
Sometimes referred to as a ‘section 1 statement’, this is a document containing certain information that, currently, you must give to your employees within 2 months of employing them (an employment agreement or statement usually does the job). From 6 April, this changes. The three key points are as follows:
- You must give it no later than the employment start date.
- The requirement extends to new workers, as well as employees. Consequently, this will put more importance on ensuring that any self-employed members of your workforce are genuinely self-employed and not in fact classed as workers.
- You’ll need to include extra information in the statement, such as if they have a probationary period, any benefits they’ll be entitled to, the days of the week they’ll be required to work, and any way in which these days and/or working hours will vary.
You don’t need to update existing statements or contracts for those already working for you before 6 April 2020. However, they’ll be able to request a section 1 statement at any time up to 3 months after they stop working for you – if they do, the statement you give them must meet the new requirements.
New National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates
As well as other statutory pay rates, such as those for sick pay and family leave (maternity, adoption, paternity etc), the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates will increase.
Right to parental bereavement leave
This is in force from 6th April and gives bereaved parents the right to 2 weeks of leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth (i.e. a loss after 24 weeks of pregnancy). If they have 26 weeks’ continuous service, they will also be entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay.
Change to the reference period for calculating holiday pay
This affects workers with no normal working hours, and those whose pay varies with the amount of work done or according to the time that they work. The reference period is currently the average weekly pay they have received over a 12-week period before they take holiday leave. This is calculated by looking back to see when they’ve worked and received pay and disregarding any weeks not worked or where no pay was received. The reference period will change from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
Amendments to agency workers rules – Swedish Derogation Ends
After 12 weeks’ continuous service, an agency worker has the right to the same pay and basic working conditions as other workers in the same role. Currently, this will not apply if an agency worker is paid a minimum amount by the agency between each assignment. This exemption will no longer apply from 6 April.
Lowered thresholds for the requirement to inform and consult employees
Employees working in businesses with 50 or more employees have the right, subject to certain conditions, to request their employer to inform and consult with them before making changes that affect them.
Currently the law requires employers to set up an information and consultation arrangement if 10% of the workforce request it. This will be lowered to 2% from 6th April 2020.
Changes to IR35 rules for the private sector
The expected IR35 changes have been delayed by 1 year in light of challenges and effects of COVID-19.