7 April 2020

A number of employment law changes came in to force on 6 April 2020. Due to the coronavirus, they have not had the same attention as they normally do.  A summary of the main points is as follows:

Increases to National Minimum/ Living Wage and Statutory Payments


Payment April 2019 April 2020
National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over[1] £8.21 per hour £8.72 per hour
National Minimum Wage for workers aged between 21 and 24 £7.70 per hour £8.20 per hour
National Minimum Wage for workers aged between 18 and 20 £6.15 per hour £6.45 per hour
National Minimum Wage for workers aged 16 or 17 £4.35 per hour £4.55 per hour
National Minimum Wage for apprentices £3.90 per hour £4.15 per hour
Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay £148.68 per week £151.20 per week
Statutory sick pay £94.25 per week £95.85 per week
Weekly pay for statutory redundancy £525 per week £538 per week


Holiday Pay

The holiday pay reference period for workers without normal working hours has increased from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

Employers will need to adjust how holiday pay is calculated for workers with irregular hours, i.e. those in seasonal or atypical roles including those in zero hours contracts.

Holiday pay policies may also require adjusting if they refer to the holiday pay reference period of 12 weeks. 


Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

All employed parents now have the right to two weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18 or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. The leave may be taken in one block of two weeks or two blocks of one week within 56 weeks of the date of the child’s death. The ability to take the leave applies irrespective of how long an individual has been employed.

Those who have been employed for longer than six months will receive statutory parental bereavement pay which will be the lower of £151.20 or 90% of week earnings. Employers may choose to top this up in line with their compassionate leave policy. Those workers who have been employed for less than 26 weeks can take unpaid leave.

The leave may be taken in addition to other statutory periods of leave including maternity and paternity leave provided it is taken within 56 weeks from the death of the child.

Employers should review their organisation’s policies and procedures now to ensure that they include time off for bereaved parents. We would also recommend that line managers are given guidance on how to manage parental bereavement leave.


Changes to written statements of employment particulars

Three important changes to written statements have come into force:

a. all workers engaged on or after 6 April 2020 will be entitled to a written statement of terms and conditions;

b. employees and workers must be provided with their written statement on or before their first day of employment/ work, rather than the previous two month period commencing on date of engagement. This includes casual and zero hour workers; and

c. the following additional information must be included in the written statements:

  • how long a hob is expected to last, or the end date of a fixed-term contract;
  • the hours and days of the week the worker /employee is required to work, whether those hours may be varied and how they will be varied;
  • details of entitlements to any paid leave;
  • any other benefits not covered elsewhere in the written statement;
  • details of any probationary period; and
  • details of training provided by the employer.


Changes to ICE (Information and Consultation of Employees) Regulations

The ICE Regulations require a formal agreement to be put in place about what business information an employer will share with its employees and the employer will consult with the employees. The ICE Regulations apply if the employer has more than 50 employees and the employees make a formal request for an information and consultation agreement.

The percentage of employees required to make the formal request has dropped from 10% of the workforce to 2% of the workforce or 15 employees (whichever is greater).


Changes to Rights of Agency Workers

The following changes have come into force which affect agency workers:

a. Agency workers will no longer be able to contract out of their right to receive the same pay as their permanent counterparts who work on the same assignment after 12 weeks of engagement. Employers therefore need to check that after 12 weeks agency staff receive the same pay as permanent employees/ workers;

b. All agency workers are entitled to a key information document which includes information on the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay, how they will be paid and by whom; and

c. Agency workers who are deemed to be employees will be protected from unfair dismissal and/or from suffering a detriment if the reason for the dismissal or detriment relates to the assertion of their rights as an agency worker.

For further information, please contact Gill Brown or Jack Gardener on 01256 460830.

7 April 2020

Phillips Solicitors Limited


Nothing in this notes constitutes legal advice or gives rise to a solicitor/client relationship. Specialist legal advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.

The contents of this note are for general information purposes only. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information on this note is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and we do not accept any liability for error or omission.

We shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this site or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this note.

[1] Note: For national minimum and living wage, “salary premiums” such as London weighting, unsociable hours pay or bank holiday pay have to be removed from the calculation of basic hours or annual salary pay.

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