Not our most entertaining blog but potentially the most important one of the year.
It's that time of year again. We've sifted through the many 'proposed' employment amendments the Government are considering, and highlighted the ones we think you should consider in more detail.
Note to our clients: you can all rest easy. We'll be sending you revised, tailored policies where appropriate. You can go back to doing what you do best.
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 (-potentially the change with the biggest impact)
All employed parents or carers are entitled to a day-one right to two weeks unpaid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
If the employee has more than 26 weeks of continuous service, they’re entitled to the statutory rate of pay for this two-week period – otherwise, the leave will be unpaid.
Contract of Employment (you should really have been doing this anyway)
All workers, including employees starting work on or after 6 April 2020, will be entitled to a written statement of key terms on or before the date they start. This will need to include additional details such as any probationary period and training entitlements.
Holiday reference period (a rare change that actually simplifies things)
The holiday pay reference period for determining a week’s pay is changing from 12 to 52 weeks. This will ensure those who do not work a regular pattern throughout the year are not disadvantaged by having to take their holiday at a quiet time of the year when their weekly pay might be lower.
Information and Consultation (“ICE”) thresholds (additional rights for employees in smaller businesses)
The requirement to inform and consult employees does not operate automatically. It is triggered by a formal written request served on the employer, the threshold of which has been reduced from 10% to 2% of the employees (subject to a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 2,500 employees) or by employers starting the statutory process themselves (this is unlikely).
IR35 and off-payroll rules (whilst we appreciate the importance of this one, we're not going to pretend we've become tax accountants over night)
It has been proposed that from 6 April 2020, medium and large sized private sector businesses will become responsible for assessing the employment status of the off-payroll workers they engage.
Here's a tool that may assist (even we understand this one):
Businesses should ensure they have an action plan to review their current arrangements with off-payroll workers, their internal systems and their policies should the changes apply to them.