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6 March 2020

Employment Law Update: 6th April 2020

Important Employment law changes will come into effect on 6th April 2020. Steeles Law Employment team look at what this will mean to your business.

Changes to Employment Contracts

On 6 April 2020, changes to sections 1 to 3 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) will come into force. To review the changes to Employment Contracts please see our previous article, Employment Law Update: Changes to Employment Contract.

Parental and Bereavement Leave

The Parental and Bereavement Leave and Pay Act 2018 is new legislation which also comes into force from 6 April 2020.  This new legislation 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 to pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

Changes to Agency Workers’ Rights

There are three changes to agency workers’ rights which will apply from April 6th 2020:

  1. Abolition of the Swedish Derogation (also known as ‘pay between assignments’ contracts). Previously agency workers could agree to a contract which would remove their right to equal pay with permanent employees after 12 weeks working at the same assignment. From 6th April 2020, these contracts will no longer be allowed, and all agency workers, after 12 weeks, will be entitled to the same rate of pay as permanent employees.
  2. All agency workers will be entitled to a key information document that clearly sets out their employment relationships and terms and conditions with their agency.
  3. 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.

Changes to Holiday Pay Calculations

From 6th April 2020, the reference period to calculate a ‘week’s pay’ for holiday pay purposes will be extended from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks.

Changes to Tribunal Awards and Statutory Payments

From 6 April 2020, the following will be increased:

  • Compensation Award and Week’s Pay
Compensation Limit Current Figure Figure from 6 April 2020
Maximum limit on a week’s pay £525.00 £538.00
Maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal £86,444 £88,519
Minimum basic award for certain unfair dismissals (e.g. dismissals for reasons for trade union membership or activities, health and safety duties, pension scheme trustee duties or acting as an employee representative or workforce representative) £6,408 £6,562

The maximum limit on a week’s pay is used to calculate statutory redundancy payments and various awards, including the basic and additional awards for unfair dismissal.

  • Statutory Sick Pay and Statutory Rates of Pay for Family-Related Leave

The statutory sick pay rate will increase from £94.25 per week to £95.85 per week.

The statutory rate of maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay and shared parental pay will increase from £148.68 to £151.20.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Guidance on calculating the minimum wage, to help employers meet National Minimum Wage legislation can be found on the Government website and is constantly being updated.

If you would like to discuss any of the above changes or would like us to amend your Contracts of Employment to comply with the new requirements, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Employment Law Team at Steeles Law on 01603 59800 or email employment@steeleslaw.co.uk.

In addition, if you would like us to update review your Staff Handbook and/or provide you with a Bereavement Leave Policy, please let us know.

*The information provided in this article is designed to provide useful information on the subject, not to provide specific legal advice.

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