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HR Changes in 2020
By Bira
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Prepare for HR changes in 2020

There is a large degree of uncertainty as to what will unfold with employment law this year. Bira Legal advises members on how to prepare.

The Taylor Review and the Good Work Plan In 2016, the government commissioned a review of employment law to explore whether, in light of new working practices such as the gig economy, any changes are required to employment law. The report, published in 2017, made a number of recommendations, including changing and/or clarifying the test for employment status, making it necessary for employers to offer permanent contracts to zero-hour workers after a set period of time, and increasing the National Minimum Wage for those with flexible hours.
Only a few of the recommendations are being implemented in April 2020. These include:

  • Extending the right to “written particulars” to workers as well as employees and making this a day-one right. At present, employers must provide said particulars within two months of starting employment.

 

How to prepare:

– Review whether you have workers on your books who may be entitled to written particulars.

– Update your recruitment processes to ensure that you can provide these particulars at the start of employment.

  • Expanding the information that needs to be given in the written particulars to include hours of work; clear terms regarding holiday rights, maternity and other leave; and terms relating to probation periods, among other things.

How to prepare:

– Review your contractual documentation to ensure that these matters are covered

  • Increasing the pay reference period for calculating holiday pay from 12 to 52 weeks in cases where pay varies according to the type or amount of work done. This will come into effect in April.

 

How to prepare:

– Check whether you have systems in place to assist with this calculation.

  • The removal of the Swedish derogation, which will mean that even if an agency worker is paid between assignments by the employment agency, they will still be entitled to the same pay and benefits of permanent employees after 12 weeks. Agency workers will also be entitled to a “key information” document from the employment business setting out their rights.

 

How to prepare:

– If you use agency staff, check whether either of these issues apply to you and, if so, take steps to ensure that you comply.

Parental bereavement leave and pay

The government is proposing to introduce a right to time off work for employed parents, with pay, following the loss of a child under the age of 18 (including a stillbirth after 24 weeks). This is expected to come into force in April 2020. However, at the time of writing, no legislation has been submitted by the government.
There will also be increases to a number of statutory payments in April 2020, such as for maternity and sick pay. At the time of writing, those figures have not been released.

National Minimum Wage

Hourly rates change every April. At the time of writing, we do not yet know the new National Minimum Wage rates that will come into effect in 2020.

Employment status

In July 2020, the Supreme Court will hear the ongoing saga regarding Uber and whether its taxi drivers are workers, rather than being self-employed. This should hopefully provide some much-needed guidance on employment status and gig economy workers.

Concerned about your ability to adapt to employment law changes?

Contact Bira Legal for practical advice and guidance on what you need to do to stay compliant. If you require more hands-on support with creating and amending documentation, enquire about Ellis Whittam’s fixed-fee One2One service.

Find out more

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