In 2018, the government produced its Good Work Plan, setting out several proposed changes to employment law intended to improve the rights of employees and workers.
As 2020 gains momentum, we provide a rundown of three significant changes that are set to come into force on 6 April, plus a number of other changes planned for which an implementation date is not yet set.
Changes that will come into force on 6 April 2020
1. Written terms
Currently, an employer has two months from the date an employee/worker starts work to provide them with a written statement of their terms and conditions. As of 6 April 2020, all staff will be entitled to a written statement of terms on or before the first day of employment. This right will apply to both employees and workers.
2. A week’s pay
The reference period to determine an average week’s pay for holiday purposes will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks (or the length of employment if less than 52 weeks). This will mean that staff whose hours vary greatly don’t lose out if they take their holiday at a quiet time of the year.
3. Contents of contracts
From 6 April 2020, a Contract of Employment must contain the following additional information about the terms and conditions of employment:
Existing staff who have contracts prepared before 6 April 2020 will be entitled to request a new-version contract, which you would be required to provide within one month.
Need expert help with your preparations?
At Ellis Whittam, we’re busy helping our clients gear up for the Good Work Plan by revising their Contracts of Employment to include this additional information ahead of the implementation date. If you would benefit from professional support with drafting and amending your contractual documentation in line with the changes, we can undertake this important task for you as part of our fixed-fee Employment Law and HR support.
Changes that are due but don’t yet have an implementation date
1. Continuity of employment
There will be a change in legislation to help casual employees acquire continuity of employment so that they benefit from employment rights. It is proposed that a gap of four weeks rather than one week will be required to break continuity of employment. There is currently no date set for the introduction of this change.
After consultation revealed that two-thirds of employers were withholding a percentage of tips from staff, there will be a ban on employers taking administrative fees or other deductions from tips. This change will be achieved through a statutory Code of Practice that establishes principles for fair and transparent distribution. An implementation date is awaited.
3. Zero hours
After 26 weeks’ service, a zero-hours worker who tends to work a certain number of hours each week will have the right to request a contract guaranteeing that number of hours. This will be dealt with in a similar way to a flexible working request, meaning employers will be required to genuinely consider any request they receive. There is no date yet for the introduction of this provision but it is expected that this will be introduced in April 2020.
Let us do the hard work for you
Looking to get to grips with the Good Work Plan ahead of time? Our team of legally-qualified Employment Law specialists can walk you through the changes and how they apply to your business, help you to adapt through practical guidance and bespoke documentation, and keep you one step ahead of any future developments that may affect how you operate, including those set to make up a new Employment Bill.