As the majority of people reading this article already know, April is a very busy month for businesses, especially employers. April marks the end of the tax year, and also when the new changes come into place for the National Minimum and Living Wage, but these aren’t the only changes happening in the first half of 2020. On 6th April 2020, major changes are coming to employee contracts, so we’ve decided to detail all of the amendments and give some advice on what to do next.
If you are an employer, this information is crucial.
Employee Contract Changes
Employee contracts are documents that are given to a new employee containing their terms of employment (also known as a statement of terms), and act as an agreement that both parties will adhere to the terms set out.
Currently, as an employer you are required to provide employees with an employee contract of employment (also known as written set of particulars) within the first 2 months of employment, but this will no longer be the case.
From April 2020 onwards, employers will need to provide this contract/document on the very first day of employment, before any work can be commenced.
These new employee contracts must include information regarding:
- Job title
- Place of work
- Whether there is a requirement to work outside of the UK
- Details of all remunerations including salary and non-contractual bonuses and benefits
- Terms relating to sickness, sick pay entitlement and injury
- Hours of Work including days of the week, whether the hours are variable and if so, how the variation will be determined
- Holiday Entitlement and any other paid leave that the employee may be entitled to e.g. maternity, paternity and bereavement leave
- Termination and Notice Period
- Any collective agreements, e.g. Trade Union and Work Agreements
- Terms relating to Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
- Probationary period
- Training anticipated to be provided and any mandatory training that the employee/worker must complete.
The majority of written particulars must be provided in a single document on the day or before employment starts, and employers have an obligation to provide this to workers as well as employees going forward.
There are a few exceptions to what information needs to be included on the day one document such as details of pension schemes, collective agreements and disciplinary/grievance procedures – but there must be given no later than 2 months after employment has started.
With all of this in mind, we recommend that employers start looking at their current employee contracts situation sooner rather than later.
Our advice to employers would be to start reviewing their contract and recruitment process now, and look to outsourced HR companies (like ourselves) for help if they do not have the resources in-house to deal with this.
April is fast approaching, and the repercussions of failing to adhere to the latest employment law legislation could result in an employment claim.
If you’d like to learn more about Wurkplace’s HR services, please get in touch today.
Other Changes To Employment Law
On top of important changes coming to the way employee contracts are handled and the increases in minimum and living wage, we are also seeing new rules and regulations being implemented as far as holiday pay and bereavement leave are concerned.
Holiday Pay Reference Period Adjustment
Going into 2020, the Government has committed to improving the current holiday pay arrangements, and this new legislation is part of the many employment law changes coming into place on 6th April 2020.
As it currently stands, the reference period for which holiday pay is calculated is 12 weeks, meaning employees will receive the average amount earned over the 12 weeks.
As of April 2020, this holiday pay reference period will be extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks – a full year. Employers will now have to use the last 12 months to calculate a workers’ average weekly pay for their holiday leave.
To prepare for this, we recommend that employers make sure that they have records of pay for every employee for at least the last 52 weeks/12 months, and procedures to ensure that these records stay up to date and accurate going forward.
New Parental Bereavement Law
Another change coming in April is in the form of a new law being introduced called the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018.
This new bereavement act will give parents the right to 2 weeks of paid leave following the loss of a child under the age of 18, or stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Employees are can take it in 2 separate weeks, but it needs to be taken within 56 days of the child’s passing.
We recommend employers prepare for this by drafting a parental bereavement leave policy.
Losing a child can have a serious effect on people both mentally and physically, so employers need to prepare for the potential long terms effect of bereavement on employees and offer support where possible and appropriate.
As you can see, there are a fair amount of changes coming in a couple of months and preparation is needed in order to be compliant.
If you’re worried about the potential consequences of failing to comply with these latest changes to legislation or think you’re going to struggle, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts today.
Our team has years of experience in helping businesses all across the UK become compliant with current employment law, and can help put together employee contracts and policies that adhere with the new rules and regulations.
Let us take the risk out of your business today and give us a call.
With over 20 years HR generalist experience across all disciplines, Sarah has worked across a number of business sectors and understands the importance of robust and practical HR processes and trained, motivated and engaged people in delivering business success.
As Wurkplace’s Head of HR, she is passionate about both providing the best HR service to our Clients as well as recruiting, developing and retaining the best team.