Each April, all businesses must ensure that their organisation complies with the latest round of amended employment laws and deadlines. As well as dealing with the ongoing impact of coronavirus (Covid-19), important changes made in April 2020 included:
There are also the usual increases to:
Meanwhile, the government has confirmed that the extension of IR35 tax rules to private-sector employers will be delayed until 6 April 2021.
There are a number of areas affected by these changes, due to the Covid-19 outbreak many of these changes may have slipped under the radar.
However, it is important that employers have or will get these changes implemented as quickly as possible!
Comply with changes to written statements of terms and conditions
From 6 April 2020, the requirement to provide a written statement of terms and conditions extends to workers, not just employees. This includes casual and zero hours workers.
The right to a statement no longer requires a minimum length of service and applies from the worker’s first day working for the organisation.
There are also changes to the information that the written statement must include. All employers should ensure that workers starting on or after 6 April 2020 are provided with compliant written statements on or before their first working day.
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Implement new right to parental bereavement leave and pay
Bereaved parents of a child who dies on or after 6 April 2020 have a new right to take up to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave with pay at a statutory minimum rate.
The right, sometimes referred to as “Jack’s Law”, also applies to stillbirths occurring after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Employers should review their organisation’s policies and procedures now to ensure that they include time off for bereaved parents.
Organisations will need to communicate these policy changes as soon as possible, ideally by 3 April 2020.
Meet your third gender pay gap reporting deadline
Most businesses with 250 or more employees would have already been in the process of finalising their gender pay gap reports. The government announced it was suspending enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting requirements this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ensure workers are paid the national minimum wage
Employers must make sure that workers are being paid at least the national minimum wage that applies to them.
Increase statutory family-related pay and statutory sick pay
The weekly rate of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay increases to £151.20 from 5 April 2020. The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases to £95.85 from 6 April 2020.
Employers need to review their policies and documents that mention the rates, such as their maternity policies and sickness absence procedures.
Update your organisation’s statutory redundancy pay calculations
New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay come into force on 6 April 2020.
Employers that dismiss employees for redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age. The weekly pay is subject to a maximum amount. This amount is £538 from 6 April 2020.
Adjust holiday pay calculations for workers with irregular hours
On 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period for workers without normal working hours increases from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.
Employers will need to adjust how they calculate holiday pay for workers with irregular hours, for example those in seasonal or atypical roles. Your organisation’s holiday policy may also require adjusting if it refers to the holiday pay reference period.
HR professionals should also check the contracts of employment of workers with irregular working hours to ensure that, where the reference period is mentioned, it is updated with the new period.
Ensure qualifying agency workers receive equal pay
On 6 April 2020, the ability for employers to pay agency workers less than their own workers in certain circumstances, also known as the “Swedish derogation”, is abolished.
Following the abolition of the derogation, employers must ensure that agency workers who have completed the 12-week qualifying period are paid equally to other staff.
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