Philomena Price: Employment law changes to watch out for from April 2020

April 2020 sees some key changes coming into force that employers need to be aware of. As with any employment law matter, it is beneficial if employers start thinking about how these changes may affect their businesses now, and plan accordingly, rather than waiting.

First, all workers, including employees starting work on or after 6 April 2020, will be entitled to a written statement of key terms on or before the date they start.

Most written particulars must be provided in a single document as a day one right, but exceptions include pensions, collective agreements and certain information about disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Second, the Swedish derogation employment model, in which an agency hires a worker directly rather than being the middleman between a worker and a client organisation, is being abolished so that all agency workers will have the right to pay parity after 12 weeks.

Linked to this, all employment businesses will be required to provide agency work-seekers with a key information document containing prescribed information. This needs to include details on the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay, how workers will be paid and by whom, for example by an intermediary or umbrella company, any deductions or fees that will be taken, any non-monetary benefits which they are entitled to and any annual leave entitlement, as well as payment in respect of such leave, and an illustrative example of what this might mean for take home pay.

In addition, the holiday pay reference period for determining a week’s pay is changing from 12 weeks to 52 weeks, and the threshold required for a valid employee request to negotiate an agreement on informing and consulting its employees will be lowered from 10% to 2% of employees, subject to the existing minimum of 15 employees. Class 1A employer national insurance contributions will be payable on termination payments over £30,000, too.

IR35 will be extended to the private sector from April 2020. The responsibility for determining employment status for tax purposes will shift to the employer. Employers should make sure they have an action plan in place to review their current arrangements with off-payroll workers, their internal systems and policies.

Finally, it is expected that all employed parents or carers will be entitled to a day one right to two weeks leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, under The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018.

Philomena Price is director and employment law specialist at Spratt Endicott