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Employment Law Update 2020 – Part Two

February 24, 2020

Our last article outlined some of the changes and key dates which you were likely to need some time to prepare for (click here if you missed it). This one contains a round-up of other changes to Employment Law which come into effect in April this year.

New National Minimum Wage Rates

The apprentice rate applies to an apprentice who is aged:

  • Under 19, or
  • 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

The new rates apply from the next pay reference period from the date of the increase.

Statutory Rates

As usual, these rates will increase in April. The new rates are:

  • Statutory sick pay – £95.85 per week from 6th April 2020.
  • Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay – £151.20 (or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is lower) per week from 5th April 2020. (Note – Maternity and adoption pay will continue to be paid at 90% average weekly earnings for the first six weeks).

Holiday Pay

The reference period for calculating a week’s pay for holiday pay will increase from the current 12 weeks of work to 52 weeks from 6th April. The aim is to be fairer to those whose hours of work change from week to week, seasonal workers, or those whose pay varies due to overtime payments, so that holiday pay is more representative of hours worked. Where holiday is taken before the employee has worked for 52 weeks, the reference period will be the number of weeks they have worked.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

From April, all parents who lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy will be entitled to two weeks’ leave (either as a block or two separate weeks). Eligible parents will be entitled to pay for the period too.

Other Changes:

Information and Consultation Requests

From 6th April 2020, the percentage of employees needed to request information and consultation arrangements will decrease from 10% to 2%. The minimum threshold of 15 employees will remain, however.

Agency Workers 

Abolition of the Swedish derogation – The Swedish derogation allowed agency workers to opt for a lower rate of pay than other employees, on the basis that they would continue to be paid between assignments. From April 6th 2020, this will no longer be allowed and agency workers must be paid at the same rate as permanent employees, once they have completed a qualifying period.

Agency Workers will also be entitled to a key facts document clearly setting out their employment relationship and terms with the agency. They also receive increased protection from unfair dismissal or suffering a detriment in certain circumstances.

Termination Payments

From 6th April, termination payments above £30,000 will be subject to employer’s National Insurance Contributions.

Any Questions? – Contact us for a confidential, no-obligation chat on 01242 570161 or email [email protected]

Please note – the information contained in this article is for general guidance only, and is not a substitute for specific legal advice in any given situation.