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A guide to some of the April 2020 employment law changes

06 April 2020

One of our senior employment lawyers summarises the changes in the law which take effect from today.

What’s new for April 2020?

Written statements of employment particulars

From 6 April 2020 the obligation on employers to provide a written statement of particulars will be extended to workers, as well as employees. It becomes a day one right – the majority of written particulars must be provided in a single document on or before the date on which the employment commences. 

Certain aspects can be communicated after this date, but no later than two months after the beginning of employment. These aspects are the particulars relating to pensions, collective agreements, any training entitlement provided by the employer and certain information about disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Some particulars do not have to be included in the written statement itself, but must be contained in another reasonably accessible document (for instance a policy or staff handbook). This other document must be referred to in the principal statement itself. These particulars are those relating to incapacity and sick pay, paid leave, pensions and any non-compulsory training entitlement for which the employee does not have to pay.

The statement will be required to contain the following additional particulars:

  • 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.

So the list of items that need to be included in the statement are now:

  • The names of the employer and employee.
  • The date the employment starts and the date the employee’s period of continuous employment began (for employees only, not workers).
  • Pay (or method of calculating it) and interval of payment.
  • Hours of work, including normal working hours.
  • Holiday entitlement and holiday pay.
  • The employee’s job title or a brief description of the work.
  • Place of work.
  • A person to whom the employee can appeal if they are dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision relating to them or any decision to dismiss them.
  • A person to whom the employee can apply for the purpose of seeking redress of any grievance relating to the employment and the manner in which any such application should be made.
  • The days of the week the worker is required to work and whether working hours or days may be variable, with details of how they may vary.
  • Any other benefits provided by the employer.
  • Any probationary period, including any conditions and its duration.
  • Any training entitlement provided by the employer, any part of that entitlement which the worker is required to complete and any other required training in respect of which the employer will not bear the cost.
  • The notice periods for termination by either side.
  • Terms as to length of temporary or fixed-term work.
  • Terms related to work outside the UK for a period of more than one month.

New statutory rates

New rates for various statutory payments will take effect from this month (April 2020).

Parental bereavement leave

The government has made new regulations to introduce a right to parental bereavement leave. From 6 April 2020, all employees who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be entitled to 2 weeks’ statutory leave to be taken in one block or as two separate blocks of a week. Employees with at least 26 weeks’ service, who meet minimum earnings criteria, will also qualify for Statutory Bereavement Leave Pay (at the same rate as Statutory Paternity Pay). The government has indicated that employees would have up to 56 weeks from the date of death (or stillbirth) to use up their leave entitlement.

Removal of the Swedish derogation

With effect from 6 April 2020 the ‘Swedish derogation’ is removed from the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. This was a mechanism whereby agency workers did not need to be given pay parity with permanent colleagues after twelve weeks, if they were paid between assignments when not working for a hirer.

We’re here to help

As always, if you need legal advice, we’re here to help so please get in touch.

Email Jenny

Jenny is an associate, solicitor in 
our employment law team. She has an extensive track record in advising businesses ranging from SMEs to multinational organisations, on the full range of employment-related matters – including TUPE, contractual issues and defending employee relations. 

Jenny Hawrot LLB (Hons)
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Jenny Hawrot
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