New draft legislation strengthening employment rights has now been revealed. 

This follows on from the government’s announcement of the Good Work Plan made earlier this week.

Ellis Whittam takes a close look at the nature of the changes.

Legislation No. 1

The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 are expected to come into force on 6 April 2020.

Under these Regulations, employers are required to provide a “statement of written particulars of employment” from day one of employment. At present, employers must do within two months from the commencement of employment. 

It also makes changes to the reference period when calculating a week’s pay for holiday pay purposes. If employees’ hours differ from week to week, holiday pay is currently calculated on the average pay the employee earned in the past 12 weeks. This reference period will increase from 12 to 52 weeks where the worker has been employed by their employer for a minimum of 52 weeks. An employment law specialist will be able to offer advice on how this will affect your organisation.

Legislation No. 2

The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 is expected to enter into effect on 6 April 2020, abolishing the Swedish Derogation.

Presently, agency workers are able to opt out of their right to be paid equally to permanent counterparts in order to secure pay between assignments. However, this will close this legal loophole.

Legislation No. 3

The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 will introduce changes that are expected to come into effect in 2019 and 2020.

  • As of 6 April 2019, the maximum penalty for aggravated breaches of employment rights will increase from £5,000 to £20,000.
  • As of 6 April 2020, employers will need to provide the statement of written particulars of employment to workers as well as employees.

These will now be put before Parliament.

With 2019 upon us, have a look at important HR and Employment Law changes in 2019. If you have questions on the upcoming changes, contact your Employment Law Adviser for guidance.

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