In January 2019, we updated you on the Government’s Good Work Plan which proposed various changes to employment law, focusing on ensuring fair and decent work, clarity for both employers and workers and fairer enforcement. On 6th April 2020 various regulations will come into force giving effect to those proposals.
Terms and Conditions of Employment
Under current legislation, employees have a right to receive a written statement of terms within two months of beginning employment. The new regulations will not only extend the right to a written statement of terms to workers as well as employees, but also require that these are given on the first day of employment.
Within the statement of terms, the following details need to be included:
1. The days of the week the worker is required to work;
2. Whether their working hours may be variable and if so, how variation will be determined;
3. Reference to paid leave to which a worker may be entitled and where further details of their entitlement can be found (this includes all family friendly policies employers may operate as well as statutory leave such as maternity);
4. Details of all remuneration and benefits;
5. Details of any probationary period including its duration and any conditions the employee must meet; and
6. Details of training entitlement including whether training is mandatory and whether the worker must pay for it themselves.
Statements of Changes
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, employers have an obligation to notify employees of certain changes to their terms of employment in writing within one month of the change. The failure to do this can lead employers to a liability to compensate the employee by paying them between 2 and 4 weeks’ pay.
We recommend that all employers issue letters to employees and workers notifying them of any changes to their terms of employment. Not only does this ensure compliance with the legislation, it also means that there can be no later dispute over what the terms were. Updating your documents to comply with the Good Work Plan changes, is the perfect opportunity to check that all contracts reflect actual rather than former terms.
Parental Bereavement Leave April 2020
We will also see the introduction of Parental Bereavement Leave in April 2020. Under the Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Act, both parents and carers will be entitled to at least two weeks’ leave following a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy or the death of a child under 18.
If you’d like help amending your policies or contracts, or want to know more about how these changes will affect your business, please contact us.