6 employment law changes you may have missed

If the Covid-19 situation has taken up all of your time and attention, or if you have been furloughed, you might have missed some changes that happened in April:

1.      There are new obligations for new starters in your organisation

You now have to provide a statement of employment particulars on or before the first day of employment and this applies to all workers, not just employees (i.e. you need to include any casual or zero hours workers).

2.      There is a new right to Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Bereaved parents of a child who dies on or after 6 April 2020 have a new right to take up to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave with pay at either £151.20 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).  This also applies to stillbirths occurring after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

3.      The holiday pay calculation has changed for people with irregular hours

On 6 April 2020, the holiday pay reference period for workers without normal working hours increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Your organisation’s holiday policy and contracts of employment may need updating.

For information on how to calculate holiday pay, see our factsheet How to Manage Annual Leave.

4.      Statutory Payments increased

Redundancy Pay: The weekly pay maximum for redundancy calculations is £538 from 6 April 2020.

On 1 April 2020, the national living wage for workers aged 25 and over increased to £8.72 per hour, with hourly rates rising to £8.20 for workers aged 21 to 24, to £6.45 for workers aged 18 to 20 and to £4.55 for workers aged 16 or 17.

Maternity/Paternity/Adoption pay has increased to £151.20 and Statutory Sick Pay has gone up to £95.85 (also remember that during the current pandemic, SSP is paid from day 1).

Full information on statutory pay rates is given in our  factsheet Statutory Payments April 2020.

5.      All agency workers now get equal pay after 12 weeks

On 6 April 2020, the ability for employers to pay agency workers less than their own workers in certain circumstances, also known as the “Swedish derogation”, was abolished.  This means that agency workers who have completed the 12-week qualifying period must be paid equally to other staff.

6.      Gender Pay Gap reporting has been delayed

The government has suspended enforcement of the gender pay gap reporting requirements this year, due to the Coronavirus outbreak (gender pay reporting applies to organisations with 250 or more employees).  You will need to be ready to publish when the enforcement suspension is lifted.