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Employers – get ready for important legal changes this April

The world news may be consumed with COVID-19 at the moment, but there are a number of important employment law changes set to happen this spring.

Here’s our list of developments that businesses must be prepared for. All of these take effect on 6 April 2020.

Written statements

All new employees and those with worker status will have the right to a written statement of terms from their first day of employment. This includes details of the full benefit and remuneration package. Currently it’s within two months.

Agency workers

Agency workers get the right to pay parity with direct employees once they have undertaken the same role with the same hirer for 12 continuous calendar weeks. The so-called ‘Swedish derogation’ contracts are abolished.

Holiday pay

The holiday pay reference period increases from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This means that to calculate a worker’s average weekly pay, an employer will need to look back at their record over the previous 52 weeks to calculate when they have worked and when they received pay.

Termination payments

These are likely to become more expensive. This is because employers will now be required to pay national insurance contributions on any part of an ex-gratia termination payment exceeding £30,000.

Bereaved parents

From 6 April 2020, parents who lose a child under the age of 18 will be able to take two weeks’ paid bereavement leave. This can be taken in either a single block of two weeks or as two separate weeks at any time in the year after their child’s death.

New IR35 tax rules for the private sector postponed

The government has announced that the extension of IR35 to medium and large companies in the private sector is being postponed by a year, to 6 April 2021.

The new IR35 rules aim to make sure that for all contracts entered into, or payments made, the task of determining whether IR35 applies or not falls to the business which pays for the service and not the intermediary through which it’s provided.

This means the obligation to account for tax and national insurance switches to the fee payer.

For help and guidance about these areas of the law and how to prepare for the changes, please contact Wards Solicitors’ Employment Team, Business Employment Team or Employment Law Specialist Solicitor Julia Beasley directly.

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Wards Solicitors LLP