Karen Penfold uncovers the employment law changes
There are numerous employment law changes coming to the UK on 6 April 2020, and while that might seem a way off, there’s plenty to prepare for and only a couple of months left to get everything in place.
The reforms are part of the Good Work Plan 2020, which were set out in December 2018 in response to the independent Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. The review looked at new forms of work on worker rights and responsibilities, as well as on employer obligations, also the rise of digital platforms and impacts of new working models.
The Taylor Review made 53 recommendations to the government and 51 of these are being implemented as the Good Work Plan 2020. The aim is to ensure individuals have better access to, and a better understanding of, their employment relationships.
In addition, it sets out seven principles to address the challenges facing the UK labour market. Let’s take a look at the key changes…
Update your employment contracts
Employment contracts in April 2020 will need to be more robust with a more comprehensive statement of written particulars.
Employment contracts should be updated to include information on:
- Paid leave
- Probationary periods
These employment contracts will also have to be issued to ‘workers’ when the new legislation comes into force in April 2020.
Currently, you have eight weeks to issue an employment contract, this will no longer be the case as they will have to be given to employees on the first day of employment.
Employees will have more rights to request a stable contract after 26 weeks of continuous service. This is designed to protect those on irregular/zero hours employment contracts.
Changes to continuous service
Breaking continuous service will be extended to a gap of four weeks from the present one week.
This is to stop employers dismissing and reengaging employees immediately without being at risk of giving them full employment rights, such as the right to claim unfair dismissal after two years of service, or the right to statutory maternity pay.
What about agency workers?
Agency workers will also be more protected from April 2020. The business will be required to provide them with a ‘key facts page’, which should include information about the contract they are employed under, fees and minimum rates of pay.
Currently, agency workers are entitled to receive the same level of pay as a permanent worker after 12 weeks continuous service unless they opt out of this right and choose a guaranteed level of pay, also known as ‘Swedish derogation’. Under the new rules there will be no opt out as this route often leaves agency workers financially worse off.
In addition, the reference period for holiday pay calculations will increase from 12 to 52 weeks. This will prevent agency workers receiving different rates of pay during holidays based on hours worked in the three months pervious.
Consultation arrangements will impact small businesses
Currently, to request workplace discussions about topics such as redundancy proposals, a minimum of 10% of the workforce is required.
It seems that this will reduce to 2% from April 2020, which could have a big impact on smaller businesses.
Good Work Plan tips
- Review your team members current Terms and Conditions, to prepare and identify any changes you will need to implement
- Assess your workforce, do you use many agency staff or have zero hours/irregular hours contracts in place
- Review your policies and procedures, staff handbook, and identify any key ones that will require updating to reflect the new employment legislation
- Identify team members who will have responsibility for recruitment, employees and make sure they are aware and trained on the changes
- Seek expert HR advice to help understand and implement the new laws in 2020
We can help!
Big legislative updates like these, where 51 recommendations are being implemented and all businesses, large and small, need to ensure they are fully up to date and compliant, really highlight why outsourcing your HR can be highly beneficial.
With CODE Total HR and Employment law service you can rest assured that your employment contracts and policies will be set up correctly and you will have access to expert support as and when you need it.
Don’t miss our webinar on Thursday 30th January 2020 from 1.05pm to 1.55pm where Hannah Larkworthy, Senior HR Advisor at CODE Total HR, will be looking at the Good Work Plan Employment Law Changes that take effect from April 2020. We are expecting this webinar to be extremely busy.
Click here and sign up now to guarantee your place!