Employment Law Update ~ April 2020

You may remember our newsletter in early February setting out what we should expect in April.   Little did we know just what was really in store for us all. Since then, we’ve been keeping you up to date on the key employment law issues during this difficult time, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. All of us at Mitchell Law wish you well and hope you are keeping safe.

Back to more familiar employment matters, here’s a quick round up of new legislation introduced this month:

  1. Day 1 rights to written statements of particulars
  • Employers must now provide a statement of employment terms by the employment start date
  • Includes workers as well as employees
  • Extra information on variable working hours to be provided where applicable as well as paid leave other than sick pay, benefits, probationary periods and training

 

  1. Holiday pay for workers with irregular hours
  • The reference period for calculating holiday pay for workers who do not work regular hours has increased from 12 to 52 weeks on 6 April 2020

 

  1. Parental bereavement leave and pay
  • Parents of a child under the age of 18 who has died are allowed to take two weeks’ leave.
  • It is available to the birth parents or those with parental responsibility for the child and can be taken within 56 weeks of the child’s death, in a block of two weeks, or two blocks of one week.
  • Employees are entitled to parental bereavement leave from day one of their employment, but there will be a qualifying period of 26 weeks for entitlement to parental bereavement pay.

 

  1. Agency workers
  • The ability for employers to pay agency workers less than their own workers in certain circumstances, also known as the “Swedish derogation”, has been abolished.
  • Employers must ensure, that they pay agency workers who have completed the 12-week qualifying period equally to other directly recruited employees.

 

  1. Pay increases

There are also the usual increases to the national minimum and living wage rates, which increased on 1 April. Statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay and shared parental leave pay all increased on 5 April. Statutory sick pay and redundancy payments increased on 6 April.

 

On hold for now:

  1. Gender Pay Reporting
  • The Government has suspended enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting deadlines for 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Employers are urged to publish their reports once the coronavirus outbreak has passed.

 

  1. IR35 tax rules
  • The Government has confirmed that reforms to IR35 tax rules that were due to take effect for employers in the private sector from 6 April 2020 will be delayed until 6 April 2021.

If you would like further advice tailored to your particular circumstances, please contact us.