New Employment Law Changes - April 2020

In non-COVID19 news, there are a number of employment law changes which come into force on the 6 April which include:

  • Changes to national minimum wage rates
  • Day one written statements of particulars
  • Changes to holiday pay for seasonal workers
  • New guidelines for parental bereavement leave

Below is a brief summary of the changes. Given all that is going on, it would be easy to forget these changes, but it is still important that these are noted and implemented by employers.

National Minimum Wage

From the 6 April 2020 the national minimum wage rates will be as follows:

National Living Wage (per hour) Age 25+          £8.72

Standard adult rate (per hour) Age 21+             £8.20

Development rate (per hour) Age 18-20            £6.45

Young workers rate (per hour) Age 16-17          £4.55

Apprentice rate (per hour)                                  £4.15

Day one written statements of particulars

From the 6 April 2020, legislation will now require that written statements of terms will have to be provided on day one of employment, rather than within the first two months. The new legislation also provides further information that must be provided in these written statements, and also extends the right to have these written particulars to workers.

Additional to the details already required for written statements, they must now also include:

• Days of the week which the worker is required to work and whether those days and hours may be variable and how any variation will be determined.

• Any paid leave which the worker is entitled to.

• Details of any benefits provided by the employer which are not already detailed in the statement.

• Details of any probationary period, including any conditions and how long it will be for.

• Any entitlement to training which is provided by the employer, including whether any training is mandatory and whether it is paid for by the worker.

The majority of the required written particulars must be included in a single document.

Changes to holiday pay

The Working Time Regulations have been amended to increase the reference period for determining an average week’s pay for the purposes of calculating holiday pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks (or the number of complete weeks for which a worker has been employed). Employers should therefore ensure that going forward they have accurate pay records for the 52 week period.

The legislation was brought in to ensure that workers who do not have regular working patterns throughout the year, were not disadvantaged when taking leave during quieter times in the year, where they may have been working less hours in the reference period.

New guidelines for parental bereavement leave

New entitlement to parental bereavement leave and pay will come into force on 6 April 2020. The regulations implement new pay and leave entitlements to bereaved parents in respect of children whose date of death is on or after the 6 April 2020.

It gives all employees who lose a child (under the age of 18), or who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, a statutory entitlement to two weeks’ leave which can be taken in one block or as two separate blocks of a week.

The entitlement to pay is only for employees with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service, who meet the minimum earnings criteria. The statutory parental bereavement pay rate is currently set at the same rate as statutory paternity pay.

May Bank Holiday

Also, be aware that there has been a change to when the usual first May bank holiday falls, the day (which usually falls on a Monday) has been moved to Friday 8 May 2020, to honour the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

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