Legislative heads-up for 2020

There are several changes to legislation and employment requirements coming up this year. There may, of course, be more once we have left the European Union, but for now, here are a few things you’ll need to be aware of as the year gets underway.

Parental Bereavement Leave

You may have seen this on the news recently; from April 2020, bereaved parents of a child under the age of 18 or a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy will be entitled to two weeks of paid leave following the loss. This leave applies to both parents individually and can be taken up to 56 weeks following the loss. The leave can be used in two one-week blocks or a single two-week period. Like all paid leave, there are some qualifications within the legislation.

Changes to the holiday pay reference period

In order to bring more equality to holiday payments for both workers with normal but variable hours and those with non-normal working hours, the holiday pay reference period is increasing from 12 weeks to 52 weeks from April 6th. This should make holiday pay fairer for those who may have not had as much work during the original 12-week period as they do on a regular basis.

IR35 rules for contractors

Similar to the changes that took place in the public sector a couple of years ago, medium and larger companies will need to revisit their commercial relationship with contractors in order to comply with IR35. From April 2020, it will be the responsibility of the business, not the individual contractor, to assess whether IR35 applies to the contract. The business will also have responsibility for accounting for tax and national insurance where such a relationship exists.

Statement of terms on day one

At the moment, employers have up to two months to provide new employees with a written Statement of Terms. This will change on April 6th, when all new employees and workers should have a written Statement on their first day in the job.

Statutory wage increases

We always give you a heads-up about wage increases, and here are the numbers as of April 2020:

  • Apprentice rate (under 19 or in the first year of an apprenticeship) increases from £3.90 to £4.15
  • 16-17 years increases from £4.35 to £4.55
  • 18-20 years increases from £6.15 to £6.45
  • 21-24 years increases from £7.70 to £8.20
  • 25+ earning the National Living Wage increases from £8.21 to £8.72.

Our clients, Birketts, are a law firm with offices in the East of England. You can find more information on the legal requirements of these employment changes and more by clicking here.

For information on updating, adapting or creating policies and internal communications around these changes, talk to us today.

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