The good work plan – big changes ahead

It could be very easy to overlook the fact that the April 2020 changes in employment law are perhaps the biggest in 20 years.

Other things dominate the news but employers still need to be aware of the changes, of which there are a number. This is a much abbreviated version. More information is available on the Wilson browne Solicitors website.*

Picking out the highlights

Written statement of terms

There are three main changes in respect of s.1 written statement of terms.

- The right to receive an s.1 compliant written statement of terms is to be extended to workers, not just employees.

- This right will take effect on or before the first day of employment, rather than within two months of employment starting.

- There is also additional information that must be given in the statement.

These details include:

- Probationary periods

- Working days/hours and if they are variable

- Details of benefits, such as gym membership, healthcare etc

- Details of paid leave

- Any training that will be offered

What you should be doing now?

Review current recruitment processes to ensure contracts are issued on or before an individual commences employment. Review and amend existing contracts to ensure they meet the new regulations.

2 Reference period for calculating holiday pay

The government will increase the reference period for determining an average week’s pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

What you should be doing now:

- Identify which workers the holiday pay reference period will apply to

- How the reference period will be implemented

- How information is recorded to ensure accurate records of holiday pay calculations are kept

- Workers not paid their holiday pay correctly may apply to a tribunal re unlawful deduction of wages.

3 Repeal of the Swedish derogation

Agency workers who have completed a 12-week qualifying period are entitled to the same ‘basic working and employment conditions’ that they would have been entitled to had they been recruited directly by the hirer.

What you should be doing now?

- Identify those contracts that contain a Swedish derogation exemption

- Provide written notification to workers by no later than Thursday 30th April 2020 that the Swedish derogation no longer applies to them

- Ensure you identify workers who are eligible for week 12 rights.

- Keep evidence to ensure those week 12 rights have been implemented

4 Key information documents for agency work-seekers

Employers will have to provide agency work-seekers with a key information document before agreeing the terms by which the work-seeker will undertake work. This will only apply to agency worker- seekers who have registered with an agency after Monday 6th April 2020.

The key information document needs to include:

- The purpose of the key information document

- The type of contract

- Details of pay and any deductions being made i.e. tax and national insurance

- How wages are paid

What do you need to do now?

- Prepare a key information document detailing the required information to be included.

- Update and provide the worker a key information document if there is a change, for example a change in how a worker gets paid

- Ensure you keep records of the key information document to evidence the fact you have complied with the legislation

5 Information and consultation threshold

The threshold for the number of valid employees required to request to set up information and consultation arrangements is being lowered from 10% to 2% of the total number of employees employed by the employer. There will continue to be the requirement for a minimum of 15 employees.

Talk to Jennie Janina at Wilson Browne Solicitors for more information – enquiries are free.