I first wrote this article in January 2020, advising on the employment law changes that had been announced to take place in April 2020.
Back then, news was emerging of a new flu which was sweeping through Asia. It seemed like a far-off concept, one that appeared to have devastating consequences, but not one that would impact too greatly on life in the UK.
Typing this whilst sat at home, isolated from my colleagues and spending my days advising clients on large-scale redundancies and lay-offs, it now seems a little trite to tell you all about the employment law changes that are happening in April; priorities are elsewhere. Before I talk about the impact of the Coronavirus and to stay true to my original article, some changes due to take place on 6th April 2020 are as follows:
The value of a worker’s holiday pay will be based on their average daily earnings over the past 52 weeks, not the last 12 weeks as things currently stand;
The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act 2018 means bereaved parents will now have the right to two weeks of paid leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Parents must have been employed for 6 months or more and will be entitled to claim statutory pay for this period.
Both employees and workers will now have the right to receive a written statement from the first day of their employment which must now include additional terms, such as all benefits provided, details of any paid leave, and details of any training which the worker is required to complete.
Reading this, you probably are not particularly interested in these changes now, but I sincerely hope they will become more relevant as and when life gets back to normal.
The most seismic change of the past few weeks was the news of the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention scheme’, allowing employers the option of ‘furloughing’ their employees and obtaining a grant from HMRC to cover 80% of their wages (up to a maximum of £2,500.00 per month). Employers must designate the employee to be furloughed and those people are not allowed to carry out any further work for the employer, but they remain employed. The scheme is currently intended to last for 3 months, backdated to 1st March 2020, and is available to all businesses, no matter what the size.