Employment Law Updates for April 2020

15 April 2020

Whilst most of us are focussing on managing the immediate challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic we should not completely overlook the need to also comply with new employment law  legislation as it comes into effect. So here’s a quick rundown of the top four changes for April 2020:
  1. Written statement of terms. The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/731) amended the Employment Rights Act 1996 to give workers (rather than just employees as it was previously) the right to a written statement of particulars and to bring a tribunal claim in certain circumstances where this is not provided.
  2. Holiday pay reference period. The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1378) amended regulation 16 of the Working Time Regulations 1998, increasing 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 the worker has been employed / engaged (if less).
  3. Repeal of the Swedish derogation. The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/724) removed the Swedish derogation provisions set out in regulations 10 and 11 of the Agency Worker Regulations 2010, so that all agency workers have a right to pay parity with comparators at the end hirer client after completing a 12 week qualifying period.
  4. Key information for agency workers. The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/725) require all employment businesses to provide work-seekers with a key facts statement, before agreeing the terms under which the work-seeker will do the work. The document must be headed "Key Information Document" and must include prescribed information such as whether the work-seeker will be engaged under a contract of service, an apprenticeship or a contract for services and the minimum expected rate of pay etc.
The following increases in Statutory Payments have also become effective:
Statutory Sick Pay
Increase from £94.25 per week to £95.85.
Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay
Increase from £148.68 per week to £151.20.
Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay
From 6 April 2020, a new statutory right came into force for employees to take parental bereavement leave. The Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020 give all employees who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, an entitlement to two weeks' statutory leave to be taken in one block or as two separate blocks of a week. Employees with at least 26 weeks' service, who meet minimum earnings criteria, will also qualify for statutory parental bereavement pay (at the same rate as statutory paternity pay).