April 2020 important employment changes


There are a few changes coming into effect in the next couple of months that may affect some of the basics of how you employ people within your business.  This is a brief overview:

Changes to the employment statement of particulars:

  • All workers/employees will be entitled to receive a written statement of particulars before or no later than on the day they start working for you.
  • Additional to other common terms these must now include, if not already on your statements:
    • How long the period of employment is expected to last,
    • the hours and days of the week the worker/employee is required to work, whether they may be varied and how,
    • entitlements to any paid leave, this includes maternity, paternity, holiday, study, volunteering etc
    • any other benefits not already covered elsewhere in the written statement such as vouchers, health insurance, life insurance, subsidised catering etc,
    • details of any probationary period,
    • details of necessary training provided by the employer.

Calculating holiday pay:

  • Background – What constitutes pay when calculating holiday pay has been the subject of a number of high profile court cases in recent years.  Among the outcomes of those cases has been the clarification of using a 12 week prior period to confirm average relevant earnings when determining how much to pay an employee/worker when they then take a period of paid holiday.
  • Update – With effect from 6 April 2020 the 12 week averaging period will be replaced with a 52 week averaging period.  If you have employees/workers who work regular overtime or receive commission and some other role related payments, or you have employees/workers on variable working hour patterns, this will be a change for your pay practices.  You may need to check whether your payroll systems can cope with running calculations covering two tax years.

IR35 – off payroll workers

  • Medium and large businesses will be expected to review the employment status of contractors who would ordinarily provide services to the business through a personal services company (typically by operating as a Ltd company).  The key issue is that companies pay such contractors gross and it is considered that in some cases this bypasses direct employment where PAYE deductions should have been made.
  • There is a small business exemption for those who can satisfy two of:
    • Employing no more than 50 people
    • Turnover not exceeding £10.2m
    • Balance sheet total not exceeding £5.1m

In these small businesses ‘employment’ can continue as now.

Paid parental bereavement leave:

  • Expected to be implemented on 6 April 2020 (currently in draft) is the granting of a period of 2 weeks leave to parents, or those assuming a defined parental role, who have been bereaved of a child under the age of 18 on or after that date,
  • This also applies to those who suffer a stillbirth,
  • Those eligible to take the leave are expected to be entitled to either a flat rate of pay or 90% of earnings during the leave period.

If you need your employment statements (often called contracts) and/or employee handbooks, policies or employment operating practices checked/updated to reflect these changes do let me know. My email:  jmitchell@grantahr.com