Future Changes in Employment Legislation

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Written by: Alcumus
30th January

The ‘Good Work Plan’ is in response to the independent Taylor Review, published last year, addressing the challenges of the changing world of work in the modern economy. The plan involves multiple updates to legislation which affect UK employers.
For example, the Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019:

  • Extends the right to a written statement to workers (casual/bank staff) - Casual staff must now be issued with a written statement of particulars/contract statement (currently this right applies only to employees).
  • Increases penalties for aggravated breaches of employment law - There has been an increase in the maximum level of penalty available from £5,000 to £20,000 for aggravated breach of a worker’s employment rights under section 12A of the Employment Tribunals Act 1996 (c.17) (part 2).
  • Lowers the percentage required for a valid employee request for the employer to negotiate an agreement on informing and consulting its employees - The threshold is lowered from 10% to 2% of the total number of employees employed by the employer. The 2004 Regulations impose obligations in respect of information and consultation on an employer with at least 50 employees if a sufficient percentage of its employees submit a valid request (part 4).

There are several legislation updates being introduced in April 2019 and April 2020:

April 2019

1st April 2019 – National Minimum Wage Increases

  • Workers aged 25 and over - £8.21 an hour (National Living Wage)
  • Workers aged 21-24 - £7.70 an hour
  • Development rate for workers aged 18-20 - £6.15 an hour
  • Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17 - £4.35 an hour
  • Apprentice rate (workers under 19 or in first year of apprenticeship) - £3.90 an hour.

1st April 2019 – Tax on Termination Payments

Introduction of the government’s plans to make any part of a termination payment over the sum of £30,000 subject to employer NICs.  This change was delayed from April 2018.

6th April 2019 - Payslip Updates

Requirement to:

  • Provide payslips to all workers, not just employees (see note, below), and
  • Show hours on payslips where the pay varies by the amount of time worked

Hours of work can be shown either as a single total of all hours in the pay period, or they can be broken down into separate figures for different types of work or different rates of pay. A payslip may be provided in either a physical or electronic format that the worker can print.
For more information see our article about the payslip legislation changes.

April 2020

6th April 2020 – Written Statement of Employment

The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 changes the requirements for written statements.
A written statement of employment must be given from day one of employment. Employers can decide to provide statements in instalments, as long as they are issued within 2 months and the majority of the statements are provided when the individual begins employment.
The rules for calculating a week's pay for holiday pay purposes will also change, increasing the reference period for variable pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. Where the employee has worked for less than 52 weeks the number of weeks employed should be used.
This also states that the employment contract should include details of:

  • Working hours
  • Probation period
  • Training provided by the employer and required training for the employee to complete – noting what will and will not be paid for.

6th April 2020 – Agency Workers Rights

The Draft Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 abolishes the Swedish Derogation for agency workers.
The 2010 Regulations provide certain rights for temporary agency workers including basic working and employment conditions. Regulation 5 provides a right for the agency worker to be entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as if they had been recruited directly.

What should you do next?

Check your NMW payments and prepare for increases.
Look at your payslip process and ensure you are recording all relevant hours of work and pay so that employees/workers earnings are clear.
Consider current practice in respect of casual worker documentation and when contracts of employment are issued. The Alcumus PSM HR Consultancy team can support you with the drafting of relevant documents, so you are prepared for all new starters.
Review how you currently calculate annual leave. Provisions must be put in place to support holiday calculations over 52 weeks rather than 12. Most employers are still using a manual calculation system to calculate holiday pay for employees/workers without set hours.
Many of these changes are not coming into place until 2020 but don’t wait to start preparations. Contact the Alcumus PSM HR team for advice on any of the above.
Alcumus PSM (People & Safety Management) specialises in human resources (HR) and health and safety (H&S) consulting for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Find out more about the government’s ‘Good Work Plan’.

Written by Mel Darlington, Senior HR Consultant