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Employment law: what to expect

By Sobia Ahmad


Howes Percival

LAST year was a busy year for new employment legislation, with minimum wage increases, more details in payslips and penalties for ‘aggravated’ breaches of employment law being increased to £20,000.

The #MeToo campaign also led to non-disclosure clauses/agreements being argued as unenforceable, with professional bodies issuing strong cautions against their use. Brexit legislation has been stop/start and final plans regarding the right to work remain outstanding.

A key date in the employment calendar is 6 April 2020 – which sees a number of changes coming into force, including:

Employment Contracts

All employees and workers will have a day-one right to a written statement of terms. This statement must also contain additional details, previously available in separate documents.

Agency Workers

Temporary work agencies must provide work-seekers with a Key Information document setting out the type of contract, the minimum expected rate of pay and how they will be paid.

Further, as of 30 April 2020, the Swedish derogation provision will no longer apply.

Holiday Pay

The reference period to calculate average weekly pay for holiday pay will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks.

Tax Changes

The off-payroll working rules (IR35) are expected to extend to large and medium-sized companies in the private sector. These companies will be responsible for determining the employment status of individuals engaged through personal service companies/intermediaries, and for paying tax and NICs where there is deemed employment. HMRC has developed an online Check Employment Status Tool and will accept its determination (if completed correctly).

Additionally, all termination payments above the £30,000 threshold will be subject to class 1A NICs.

Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will be entitled to two weeks leave and statutory bereavement pay. This is expected to come into force in April 2020.

Good Work Plan

Many of the plan’s proposals have fallen away after delays due to the General Election – including bills extending parental leave to self-employed partners, strengthening protection for pregnant employees facing potential redundancy and requiring employers to offer/advertise flexible working. We also continue without a clear definition of ‘worker’ for the purposes of holiday pay, national minimum wage and other legislation.


And finally: Brexit. At this time, the EU Settlement Scheme has been implemented. This allows EU nationals who started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (or by the date the UK leaves the EU if there is no-deal) to apply for ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status. Settled status allows the worker to stay in the UK indefinitely and will usually be granted if they have lived in the UK continuously for five years. If the worker has lived in the UK for less than five years, they can apply for pre-settled status; this can become settled status at the five-year point.

If you have any questions or would like us to review your contracts of employment in light of the 2020 requirements, contact Sobia Ahmad, Associate, on 01604 222138 or

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