April 2020: Employment Law Update from ACAS

Upcoming changes to the law – April 2020

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act 2018 has now been passed by Royal Assent and is expected to come into force in April.

It will give all employed parents the right to 2 weeks’ leave if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy. Parents will also be able to claim pay for this period, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
Changes to written statements of employment particulars

There are three important changes to written statements, which will apply from April 6th 2020:

1. All workers employed on or after 6th April 2020 will be entitled to a written statement of employment particulars.

2. Employees and workers must be provided with their written statement on or before their first day of employment.

3. There is additional information that written statements will need to contain, including:
• the hours and days of the week the worker /employee is required to work, whether they may be varied and how
• entitlements to any paid leave
• any other benefits not covered elsewhere in the written statement
• details of any probationary period
• details of training provided by the employer.

Changes to agency workers’ rights

There are three important changes to agency workers’ rights which will apply from April 6th 2020:

1. Abolition of the Swedish Derogation (sometimes referred to as ‘pay between assignments’ contracts). Previously agency workers could agree a contract which would remove their right to equal pay with permanent counterparts after 12 weeks working at the same assignment. From 6th April 2020, these contracts will no longer be permissible, and all agency workers, after 12 weeks, will be entitled to the same rate of pay as their permanent counterparts.

2. All agency workers will be entitled to a key information document that more clearly sets out their employment relationships and terms and conditions with their agency.

3. Agency workers who are considered to be employees will be protected from unfair dismissal or suffering a detriment if the reasons are related to asserting rights associated with The Agency Worker Regulations.
Changes to ICE (Information and Consultation of Employees) Regulations

From 6th April 2020, there will be a reduction in the percentage of employees required to make a valid request for an agreement on the sharing of information and consultation within the workplace. Currently it is at least 10% of the workforce who must put in a request before an employer is obliged to take steps to comply with this right. This percentage will be reduced to 2%. The requirement that at least 15 employees make the request will remain.

Changes to holiday pay calculations

From 6th April 2020, the reference period to calculate a ‘week’s pay’ for holiday pay purposes will be extended from the previous 12 weeks of work to the previous 52 weeks.

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