Upcoming employment law changes your company needs to be aware of

Although last year’s General Election and EU withdrawal negotiations took up vast amounts of legislative time in 2019, there are some changes to employment law in the pipeline for 2020, and these are discussed below.

2020 employment law changes to action in April

Written statement of employment

From 6 April, all employees will need to be given a written statement of employment terms, and employers can no longer rely on any vague verbal terms provided at the outset. This legislation also impacts on existing employees, and new employer obligations are required to be written in. These new obligations relate to the difference between employees and workers, as both areas of the workforce need to be addressed. Current law states that any employees that have continuously worked over a month should be provided with a written statement within two months of starting work.

Agency workers

Agency workers will also be affected by the above changes to employment law, and their statement should be provided by the employment agency directly. In addition:

– Any agency worker who works more than 12 weeks continuously in the same job will be entitled to the same rate of pay as permanent counterpart employees.

– Agency workers considered to be employees receive protections against unfair dismissal and other detrimental acts.


The IR35 rules are extended into the private sector from April 2020 and self-employed workers are attempting to get their heads around the new legislation. Find out more about the IR35 here

Holiday pay reference periods

The present holiday pay reference period of 12 weeks is to be increased to 52 weeks. This will ensure holiday pay is based on a fairer overall average and is particularly relevant for seasonal workers.

Parental Bereavement Leave with pay

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Act has been passed, and will come into force during 2020. It entitles all employees to two weeks leave if they suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18. The loss of stillborn babies after 24 weeks of pregnancy is also included in this act. Employee entitlement to payment during leave of the nature will depend on meeting eligibility criteria.

Statutory rate increases and National Minimum Wage increase

The National Minimum Wage increases to £8.72 per hour for all workers over 25, and rates for younger workers will also increase. It’s important all statutory rate rises are incorporated into payroll software from 1 April pay dates, including any increase to statutory sick pay and other benefits entitlements.

Other important 2020 employment deadlines

Most businesses will already have started Brexit workforce planning, but it will be important to be aware of all EU worker settled status application results, and to prepare for the new immigration regulations that will be in place after December 2020.

Finally, any business with 250+ employees needs to ensure executive pay ratio reporting is in place for the 2019/20 financial year and beyond.

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