The government are pressing ahead with some key changes to several pieces of UK legislation that will come into effect in April 2020 affecting the contractual and working arrangements with staff.
As part of the Industrial Strategy, the Prime Minister commissioned the independent Matthew Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices to ensure that the UK labour market can adapt to the changes while protecting workers’ rights in the UK. Following this review, the government responded by publishing its Good Work Plan in December 2018, accepting the vast majority of the recommendations made by Matthew Taylor. The legislation has now been passed and from April 2020 we will have the following to consider.
Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 is expected to come into force in April 2020.
It will give all employed parents the right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
Presently, mourning the recent loss of a child does not mean that an employer is automatically obligated to permit the parent to have authorised absence from work. This may seem surprising to some but is in line with the fact that there is no statutory right to compassionate leave.
For further information on the provisions in the new Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 as well as how to introduce new terms and provisions safely, watch our Parental Bereavement Webinar Recording.
Changes to holiday pay calculations
From 6th April 2020, The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will extend the reference period to calculate a ‘week’s pay’ for holiday pay purposes from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks.
This is a big change to how this has been calculated previously. We are recommending that you review the impact of this on your organisation and prepare for the impact on your payroll.
Changes to written statements of employment particulars
There are three important changes which will apply from April 6th, 2020:
1. All workers employed on or after 6th April 2020 will be entitled to a written statement of employment particulars. Thus extending the reach much further than just employees and will now also include workers. A person is generally classed as a ‘worker’ if:
- They have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (your contract doesn’t have to be written)
- Their reward is for money or a benefit in kind, for example the promise of a contract or future work
- They only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work (subcontract)
- They have to turn up for work even if they don’t want to
- Their employer has to have work for them to do as long as the contract or arrangement lasts
- They aren’t doing the work as part of their own limited company in an arrangement where the ‘employer’ is actually a customer or client.
2. The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (Part 3) will give employees and workers the right to a written statement from day one of employment.
3. There is additional information that written statements will need to contain, including:
- The hours and days of the week the worker/employee is required to work, whether they may be varied and how
- Entitlements to any paid leave
- Any other benefits not covered elsewhere in the written statement
- Details of any probationary period
- Details of training provided by the employer.
The information that needs to be included in a single document is also extended.
Changes to Agency workers’ rights
There are three important changes to agency workers’ rights which will apply from April 6th, 2020:
- The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will abolish the Swedish Derogation model (sometimes referred to as ‘pay between assignments’ contracts). Previously agency workers could agree a contract which would remove their right to equal pay with permanent counterparts after 12 weeks working at the same assignment. From 6th April 2020, these contracts will no longer be permissible, and all agency workers, after 12 weeks, will be entitled to the same rate of pay as their permanent counterparts.
- All agency workers will be entitled to a key information document that more clearly sets out their employment relationships and terms and conditions with their agency.
- Agency workers who are considered to be employees will be protected from unfair dismissal or suffering a detriment if the reasons are related to asserting rights associated with The Agency Worker Regulations.
If you use agency workers on a regular basis this is something that you really need to be reviewing.
IR35 – changes to the tax treatment of off-payroll labour
From 6 April 2020, changes to tax legislation regulating off-payroll working (commonly known as IR35) also come into effect. The Finance Act 2017 will introduce the new IR35 rules to the private sector under which contractors working through their own companies must be taxed at source if they would have been employees if engaged directly.The off-payroll working rules can apply if a worker provides their services through an intermediary. An intermediary will usually be the worker’s own personal service company. They could also be a partnership, a managed service company, or an individual.
The rules make sure that workers, who would have been an employee if they were providing their services directly to the client, pay broadly the same tax and National Insurance contributions as employees.
These rules are sometimes known as ‘IR35’.
You may be affected by these rules if you are or employ:
- A worker who provides their services through their intermediary
- A client who receives services from a worker through their intermediary
- An agency providing workers’ services through their intermediary.
Changes to ICE (Information and Consultation of Employees) Regulations
From 6th April 2020, The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (Part 3) implement a reduction in the percentage of employees required to make a valid request for an agreement on the sharing of information and consultation within the workplace. Currently it is at least 10% of the workforce who must put in a request before an employer is obliged to take steps to comply with this right. This percentage will be reduced to 2%. The requirement that at least 15 employees make the request will remain.
The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations (often abbreviated to the ICE Regs) were introduced on 6 April 2005 and apply to businesses with 50 or more employees. The regulations give employees the right subject to certain conditions, to request that their employer sets up or changes arrangements to inform and consult them about issues in the organisation.
If you would like support with implementing any of the changes relating to the Good Work Plan, call HR Solutions on 0844 3245840 or visit www.hrsolutions-uk.com/hr-services for more information about our outsourced HR services.