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Kerry Eastman

HR Advisor - Uckfield

19th February 2020

The good work plan 2020 – New employment Law Changes for April 2020

As we kick off 2020 you might hear more about ‘The Good Work Plan’, but what is it and how should you prepare?

The Good Work Plan was published in 2018 in response to the Taylor Review, an independent review of modern working practices undertaken by Matthew Taylor which made recommendations to the UK Government in connection with employment legislation and protection. In total, 53 recommendations were made, most of which were accepted and are under consultation.

Although most of the accepted recommendations have no implementation date at present, there are three big changes coming into effect on 6 April 2020.

Statement of Terms

At present, employees who have been continuously employed for longer than one month are entitled to a written statement, also known as a Section 1 Statement, setting out their terms of employment. This must be provided within two months of the start of their employment. As of April 2020 however, employers will be required to issue a written statement on the first day of employment. The right to a written statement has also been extended to include workers, as well as employees.

Additionally, going forward the following information will also need to be set out within the written statement:

  • working days of the week;
  • whether days or hours are flexible;
  • benefits provided by employer;
  • details of probationary period including conditions for passing and duration; and
  • training entitlement and mandatory training (if funded by the employer).

Calculation of annual leave

Currently, the holiday pay of a worker who does not have fixed hours or has variable rates of pay is calculated by averaging the number of hours worked over the previous 12 weeks. This must include any regular overtime, commission or bonus payments they receive.

Under the new law, holiday pay will need to be calculated over 52 weeks, rather than the previous 12. If workers have not been employed for 52 weeks, holiday pay can be calculated on the total number of weeks they have worked up to 52 weeks. The change is intended to improve the holiday pay for seasonal workers, who tend to lose out under the existing regime.

Agency Workers

The Agency Worker Regulations 2010 entitle agency workers to the same pay and basic working conditions as direct recruits once they have completed 12 weeks’ continuous service working in the same role, unless they are employed permanently with a temporary work agency and are paid for periods in-between assignments, an exemption known as the ‘Swedish Derogation’.

From 6 April 2020, the ‘Swedish Derogation’ will be abolished and the right to equal pay will apply to all agency workers after 12 weeks’ continuous service.

Parental Bereavement Leave

The Government has recently announced the introduction of Parental Bereavement Leave for the benefit of parents and primary carers who suffer the loss of a child. From April 2020 the new right will entitle employed parents and primary carers (including foster parents, adoptive parents and guardians) to take two weeks’ statutory leave, if they have at least 26 weeks’ continuous service and meet the minimum earnings criteria. The leave can be taken in one block or as two separate blocks of a week each. It can be taken within 56 weeks, beginning with the date of the child’s death. Employees who do not have 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to unpaid leave.

How can we help?

Should you require assistance updating/writing your written statements or advice in connection with agency workers, holiday pay or parental bereavement leave, our professionals are here to help.

Please direct any enquiries to Victoria Regan, Partner on victoriaregan@rixandkay.co.uk

Or Amy White, Associate Solicitor, on amywhite@rixandkay.co.uk

 

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