Key Employment Law Changes – April 2020

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National Minimum Wage

1ST APRIL

The draft National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2020 set out the increases to the hourly rates of the national minimum wage.

The rate of the national living wage, the rate for workers who are aged 25 and over, increases from £8.21 to £8.72. The national minimum wage for workers aged at least 21 but under 25 rises from £7.70 to £8.20 per hour. The rate for workers who are aged at least 18 but under 21 increases from £6.15 to £6.45 per hour; the rate for workers aged 16 or 17 rises from £4.35 to £4.55 per hour; and the apprentice rate rises from £3.90 to £4.15 per hour. The accommodation offset increases from £7.55 to £8.20 per day.

Statutory maternity pay and other family-related statutory pay rates increase

5TH APRIL

The draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2020 sets out the proposed increases to the rates of statutory maternity pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay and statutory shared parental pay from £148.68 to £151.20 per week.

Statutory Sick Pay Rates

6TH APRIL

The draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2020 sets out the proposed increase to the rate of statutory sick pay from £94.25 to £95.85 per week.

Flexibility in national minimum wage rules for salaried hours work

6TH APRIL

New rules increase flexibility for employers in how they calculate pay for salaried hours work, which permits an employer to operate a pay-averaging model over a year. The draft National Minimum Wage (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2020 amend the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/621) so that employers are able to:

· pay salaried hours workers in payment periods other than monthly or weekly, such as fortnightly or four-weekly; choose the calculation year for salaried hours workers; and make premium payments to salaried hours workers in respect of basic hours, which will not be taken into account in national minimum wage calculations.

Increase in Holiday Reference Period

6TH APRIL

The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1378) increase the reference period used for determining a week’s pay when calculating holiday pay for workers with irregular hours from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. The Government’s Good work plan states that the changes will allow greater flexibility for workers in choosing when to take holiday, particularly for those in seasonal or atypical roles that limit some workers from benefiting from their full holiday pay entitlement.

Parental bereavement leave rights take effect

6TH APRIL

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 provides for at least two weeks’ leave for employees following the loss of a child under the age of 18 or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service will be entitled to two weeks of paid leave at the statutory rate and other employees will be entitled to unpaid leave.

The draft Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020 introduce parental bereavement leave and the draft Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (General) Regulations 2020 introduce parental bereavement pay.

Extension of the right to a written statement to all workers

6TH APRIL

The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/731) extend the right to a written statement of employment particulars to all workers (including employees).

The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1378) provide that access to a written statement is a day one right for all workers (including employees). Employers also have to provide additional information as mandatory content for a written statement, including in relation to training and probationary periods.

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