Changes to occur in April 2020

The government are to introduce a few changes to employment law from 6 April 2020 relating to the employee’s right to written particulars of employment, holiday pay, agency workers and bereavement leave.

Written particulars of employment

New employees and workers will have the right to a written statement of employment particulars from the first day of employment as from 6 April 2020. Currently, employers have two months in which to provide employees with a section 1 statements.

The current information that must be included in a section 1 statement is:

  • the employer’s name;
  • the employee’s name;
  • the start date of the employee;
  • the date that continuous employment started;
  • details of pay, including how often and when the employee will be paid;
  • working hours;
  • a brief description of the employee’s duties;
  • the employer’s address;
  • places or addresses where the employee will work;
  • job title, or a brief description of the role; and
  • holiday entitlement and holiday pay, including how holiday is calculated if the employee leaves.

In addition to the above, the following information will also be a mandatory requirement in a section 1 statement:

  • the days of the week the worker is required to work, whether the days and working hours may be variable and how any variation will be determined;
  • any paid leave to which the worker is entitled;
  • details of any other benefits provided by the employer that are not already included in the statement;
  • any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration; and
  • any training entitlement provided by the employer, including whether any training is mandatory and/or must be paid for by the worker.

Holiday Pay

Where a worker has variable pay or hours, the reference period for determining an average week’s pay is changing. Currently, holiday pay is calculated using an average of the last 12 weeks worked.

From 6 April 2020, the reference period will be extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. If the worker has not been employed for 52 weeks, the employer should use the number of complete weeks for which the worker has accrued to calculate an average week’s pay.

Agency Workers

Currently, agency workers are entitled to receive the same pay and basic working conditions of permanent staff after 12 weeks of continuous service in the same role. However, agency workers could agree a contract which removed their right to equal pay after 12 weeks, this is called the “Swedish derogation” principle.

From 6 April 2020, the Swedish derogation principle will be removed and all agency workers, after 12 weeks, will be entitled to receive the same rate of pay as permanent staff.

By 30 April 2020, temporary work agencies must provide agency workers, whose contracts include a Swedish derogation clause, a written statement confirming the Swedish derogation clause no longer applies.

There is also a new obligation to provide agency workers with a Key Information Document setting out basic information about their contract such as pay rates and arrangements for pay.

Bereavement Leave

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations will introduce a statutory right to 2 weeks’ leave for all employed parents who lose a child under 18 or suffer a still birth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. This will be a day 1 right and no minimum service is required for the parents to be eligible.

The 2 weeks leave can either be taken as a single block of 2 weeks or as 2 separate blocks of 1 week within 56 weeks of the child’s death.

Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service and average earnings at or above the lower earnings limit of £118 per week, will be entitled to statutory parental bereavement pay of £151.20 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

If the parents have not been continuously employed for 26 weeks, the 2 weeks leave would be unpaid.

Employees are required to give notice to their employers if they wish to take bereavement leave. The length of notice needed depends on how long after the child’s death the bereavement leave will start. If the leave starts within the first 8 weeks after the child died or is stillborn, the parents need to give notice to their employers before the time they are due to start work on their first day of absence. If this is not possible, notice can be given as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter. If leave is taken between 9 and 56 weeks after the child died or was stillborn then employees are required to give their employers at least a week’s notice before the start of the bereavement leave.

Contact Us

Please contact the employment department if you have any questions on the upcoming changes.