What’s new for employment law in 2020?

Many people expected there to be little or no change to employment law whilst the Government dealt with Brexit. It was thought that employment law would likely fall to the bottom of the legislative agenda whilst the Government dealt with the aftermath of the 2016 referendum.

However, on 6 April 2020, several significant changes to employment law are coming into force.

Good Work Plan

The way people work has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. Most people now work in an “atypical” manner – such as part time working, flexible working and working remotely.

The growth of the “gig economy” has changed the face of employment law in the UK.

The Good Work Plan came about as a result of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. This was an independent review of employment law practices. The aim of the Taylor Review was “to consider how employment practices need to change in order to keep pace with modern business models”.

The Taylor Review put forward 53 recommendations and the Government has pledged to put almost all of these into place.

The Good Work plan is considered by many to be a major shake-up of employment law and will increase the employment law rights and protections that are afforded to individuals who fall into the “worker” category. It is expected that the Good Work Plan pledges will slowly work their way into law over the coming years.

Written statement of particulars

Major changes to written statements of particulars are coming into force on 6 April 2020. This change was pledged under the Good Work Plan.

Currently, only employees have a right to a written statement of particulars. At present, employees must be provided with a copy of their written statement of particulars within 2 months of starting work for an employer.

However, from 6 April, both employees and workers will be entitled to a written statement of particulars. Employees and workers will have a right to a written statement of particulars from the first day they start work.

Written statements of particulars will have to contain many additional details, such as details of benefits offered by the employer, details of training provided and details of probationary periods.

This will require employers to review their existing template contracts to ensure they are compliant with the new requirements coming into force on 6 April 2020.

Holiday pay

Holiday pay calculations can be complex, especially when a worker or employee works in an atypical manner.

Currently, employers need to use a 12 week reference period when calculating holiday pay.

From 6 April 2020, employers will need to look back a full 52 weeks to calculate holiday pay. It is hoped that this change will be fairer on both workers and employers and make holiday pay more reflective of the way an individual actually works.

Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act

The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act will come into force in April 2020.

This legislation will give parents or carers an entitlement to at least two weeks’ leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will receive paid leave at the statutory rate and other staff will be entitled to unpaid leave.

This update was provided by Employment Lawyers Inverness.

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